How Do I Choose A Major
Despite possible pressure from your family, from your community, and from society at large to select an appropriate college major , your decision does not have to cause you any grief. In many cases, your gut instincts can give you a good idea about the kinds of jobs you may want to pursue. Discovering the kinds of college degrees held by people who work in your desired field is the first step to choosing the right major.
Many high school students can benefit from the guidance of knowledgeable college advisors and career counselors. These experts can help analyze your academic performance and your interest in extracurricular activities to suggest some potential college majors. For example, if you excel in history classes and enjoy participating in your schools debate team, a counselor might suggest studying political science. Likewise, strong math skills and an active role in your schools Junior Achievement program might suggest your inclination toward a business major.
How Do I Know Which College Major To Pursue
There are several factors that you should consider when choosing a college major that you believe is the best major for you. Some of the obvious factors include program cost, salary potential, and job demand. If you choose a major that is in the top rankings for one or more of these factors, then you are off to a great start.
One of the biggest factors not mentioned yet is job satisfaction. When finding the best major, you need to look into the future and ask yourself: Will I enjoy the field of work with this college major?
Ultimately, you want to find a certain major that matches closely to your interests, values, and abilities. By doing so, you will have a better chance at achieving happiness with the career path you choose.
How To Help Your Teen Explore Potential College Majors
Choosing a college major can be overwhelming, especially because colleges offer a much broader array of academic opportunities than high schools. Teens will often look to their parents for advice and validation. Below are a few tips to help guide your teen through the process of choosing a college major.
Before offering your best advice, listen to what your teen is asking of you. Teens often look to their parents for validation and are met with instruction. This is frustrating for teens, as it signals that you do not trust them to make their own decisions. Before offering advice, act as a sounding board for your teen. It can be really difficult to know something that could help your teen but withhold that information. Nonetheless, it is important that your teen feels they have come to this decision on their own. Help them identify their difficulties in choosing a college major and come up with solutions independently. Only once they have explicitly asked for your advice, should you give them specific instructions.
Take Inventory of their Goals
Help them Research
Senior year of high school is often the first time teens are asked to make a major decision and they are suddenly inundated with lots of decisions to make. Using these tips will help your teen feel confident in their choice of major and develop the skills to make important decisions in the future.
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Why Is Your College Major Important
A major plays an important role in a student’s future by focusing their education and guiding them preparing them to work in fields within their realm of expertise. As of 2018, 35% of Americans 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree, and selecting the right major can be what separates candidates from their competition. The following sections examine how to choose a college major and explore factors that can help new graduates stand out.
Some Degrees Have Lower Lifetime Earnings
A 2015 study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found that college graduates earn an average of $1 million more over their lifetimes than those with only a high school diploma.
But not all degree-holders make anywhere near that amount. And the disparity in income potential between degrees can be even greater than that between having a degree or not as much as $3.4 million or more.
More recently, a 2021 report by public policy group Third Way analyzed data collected for the federal Education Departments College Scorecard tool and measured the payoff of tens of thousands of certificate programs, associate degrees, and undergraduate majors.
Third Way found that most bachelors degree programs paid off within 10 years or less. But some degrees never paid off. Grads with these majors are least likely to earn more than the average worker with only a high school diploma. They include:
- Religious studies
Although the earnings value of these degrees isnt wonderful, none of them are negative.
And even Third Way found that among these degree-granting programs, college grads usually outearned high school graduates in all majors but three: drama, dance, and zoology.
Data from the Brookings Institute comes to a similar conclusion. Of the 98 majors it studied, the only two career fields that didnt outearn high school diploma-holders were early childhood education and visual and performing arts, but only at the end-of-career mark.
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What Are The Highest
High wages can result from several different factors, including education, location, and experience. Every industry has employers that offer above-average wages, but looking at pay rates across the highest-paying college majors helps students understand what the most lucrative fields are. Computer science and information technology majors, for example, end up in some of the highest-paying careers.
The following chart highlights some of the most common and highest-paying college majors available in comparison with the median salary for a high school diploma, which is $38,792.
Different Schools Different Expectations
At some large universities, it is possible that you will need to pick a field of study when you apply. For example, some of the California public universities are trying to balance enrollments within different programs. You will often be asked to indicate a major on your college application. And if you are applying to a business or engineering school within a larger university, you will often need a specialized application for that school.
At most colleges, however, being undecided is fine or even encouraged. At Alfred University, for example, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences changed the official designation for undecided students from “Undecided” to “Academic Exploration.” Exploring is a good thing, and it’s what the first year of college is for.
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Career Advice June 4 2019
Answering the question What is your greatest strength in a job interview is a great chance to share your talents and accomplishments to show why youre a great candidate for the job. Being asked about your greatest strength may sound like an easy question to answer, but for many, its tough. Either they are too nervous and modest to talk about themselves or they fail to explain relevant strengths.
Why Do Interviewers Ask This Question
Hiring managers want to know what youve done in the past to improve a company. They do this, of course, because they want to see what kind of benefits their own company can reap if they hire you.
In addition to this, hiring managers want to see what youve done to go above and beyond in your industry in the past. This can help them paint a picture of who you are as a professional. If you come off as someone who actually cares about success, youre more viable to the company.
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When To Change Your College Major
While learners can technically change their majors at any time, they should aim to have it decided between years one and two of their studies.
While learners can technically change their majors at any time, they should aim to have it decided between years one and two of their studies. Since most programs begin with a heavy focus on general education credits, students can change majors at this point without losing credits, time, and money.
It is not uncommon to change majors later, but it can mean taking more credits, paying more in tuition, or even graduating later.
Graduates Of Some Degrees Are More Employable Than Others
A high starting salary isnt the only consideration when it comes to your choice of major. Majoring in some degrees could make you more employable than others.
For example, data show the top in-demand jobs for 2021 require at least a bachelors degree. But many of them also require specific majors because theyre the types of jobs that require a specific skill set. In other words, just anyone with any degree cant typically perform them.
Jobs listed by LinkedIn, like psychotherapist, registered nurse, and elementary school teacher, all require specific majors. For example, you cant become a nurse without a nursing degree.
You might be able to learn the technical skills needed for some of the other in-demand jobs, like being a Web developer, without having a degree in computer science. But majoring in computer programming or taking coursework in Web development will likely make your job search easier.
Many occupations may disappear before you graduate or soon after due to technological, cultural, and political changes. They can even disappear or lose demand because of society-changing global events like the coronavirus pandemic.
Additionally, jobs may change in value as external factors change.
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The 10 Most Popular College Majors
According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics , U.S. colleges and universities awarded 2 million bachelor’s degrees in 2017-18. More than half of these degrees were concentrated in just five fields of study.
Plentiful job opportunities and high entry-level salaries make certain fields of study more attractive. For example, business and health degrees account for nearly one-third of all undergraduate degrees. Both fields continue to experience strong employment growth, making it easier for students to secure jobs after graduation.
Additionally, many career paths in these in-demand fields offer attractive pay and advancement opportunities.
Increased Benefits To Your Children
When considering the benefits of college, most people only consider the direct impact of a college degree on their own lives but one of the more hidden benefits of college and earning a college degree is the positive impact it can have on the well-being of their families as well, especially their children. Not only are children of parents with a college education better off socially and economically, but studies have shown that children in households where one or both parents have a college degree are themselves more likely to earn a college degree. Earning a college degree can have a ripple effect that will influence the well-being of generations to come.
There is also an interesting correlation between a womans education and the health of her children. A study produced by Lancet, a reputable medical journal, showed that between 1970 and 2009 there was a significant decrease in infant mortality rates for women as they attained higher levels of education.
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What’s The School’s Reputation For That Major
Check that the program you are considering comes from an accredited school and carries a strong reputation. Graduating from a respected program can lead to additional employment opportunities and faster career growth. To assess a program’s reputation, consider graduation rates, employment rates, and alumni salaries. This provides a glimpse at your potential return on investment.
To assess a program’s reputation, consider graduation rates, employment rates, and alumni salaries.
You can also evaluate a program’s reputation by exploring its faculty. Reputable teachers not only build students’ skills, but they can also give graduates a competitive professional advantage by writing letters of recommendation. Professors with real-world experience can also enrich a program by integrating their practical knowledge into the curriculum.
Key Takeaways: An Interview Question On Your Major
- Know the school asking the question. At most colleges, it is perfectly fine for an applicant to be undecided about a major.
- If you are sure of your major, present your love of the field in terms other than earning potential. What about the major excites you?
- If you are unsure of your major, be sure to present some academic subjects that interest you. You want to come across as excited about learning.
- Make sure the major you identify is offered by the school interviewing you. It won’t look good if you say you want to major in Archeology and the school doesn’t have that major.
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English Language And Literature
If you find yourself generally immersed in some bookanything from Shakespeare to Cheryl Strayedyou will likely find others just like you in the English department studying the trochaic octameter of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” the stunning word choices of narrative nonfiction author Annie Dillard, or the experimental elements of the writings of Walter Abish. English programs focus on literature, language, and writing, and an English major will encounter a wide array of absorbing works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction from around the world and throughout history. Analyzing the works of the greatest minds and imaginations that human civilization has produced will surely sharpen your critical, emotional, creative, and moral faculties. The study of literature also helps to shed some light on the answers to the enduring questions of the human condition. This degree is tremendous preparation for a future in law, journalism, publishing, graduate studies, and just about anything else.
The 10 Best College Majors For The Future
People often say that the best college major should suit the persons interests. However, mere fondness for a particular field of study may not sustain the individual in the future. There are college majors that provide a more stable guarantee for the students future careers. These best 10 college majors for the future hold promising career paths for students of today.
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Arts Majors Are Least Valuable
The financial stage isnt set quite as neatly for those with degrees in the arts. Art-related majors are clustered in the bottom spots of our ranking.
Visual and performing arts ranked as the least-valuable major, largely because the median income for degree holders was just $35,500. In another downside, 3.6 percent of degree holders were unemployed.
Miscellaneous fine arts majors and drama and theater arts majors also ranked at the bottom. These majors had unemployment rates of 4.5 percent or higher and median incomes below $45,000.
What If You Want To Design Your Own Major
Recognizing that many learners have specific interests and career aspirations, several colleges now allow learners to design their own interdisciplinary majors. If you’re considering this path, it’s important to carefully review existing majors to ensure no existing option meets your needs.
Next, you should consider whether your proposed individual major meets current and future career requirements.
Lastly, you should speak with your advisor to get their input on important classes to include in your curriculum. You can also speak to other students who created their own majors to learn about the pros and cons of this decision.
Some examples of student-created majors include music and technology, public education history, and psychology of marketing.
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Keep Refining Your Priorities
Keep thinking about what you are looking for in a major. It’s likely that your priorities will shift over time, especially as you get more information and experience in college. So continue doing research about potential industries, careers, skills, and so on that you might want to pursue, and keep thinking about what’s most important to you. It might be helpful to keep some kind of journal with all of your thoughts on potential majors and careers, as well as your goals.
How Important Is Your College Major
The major you choose will neither predict nor guarantee your future. Many graduates find jobs that have nothing to do with what they studied in college. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average twenty-something switches jobs once every three years and the average person changes career fields two or three times in their lifetime.
If you intend to earn a professional degree after college, you will probably need certain courses, or prerequisites, under your belt. But many future doctors major in non-science related fields.
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Why Your College Major Might Matter
According to a 2019 PayScale survey of the biggest college regrets, graduates choice of major was No. 2, right after taking on too much student loan debt. So its clear many grads believe their choice of college major influenced their career opportunities.
And theres certainly plenty of evidence to back up the idea that your major can affect whether your degree is worth it. Various studies show a wide disparity in lifetime earning potential and life satisfaction between those with certain majors.
The Economic Value Of College Majors
Full Report & Executive Summary
PowerPoint & Infographic
The Economic Value of College Majors uses Census Data to analyze wages for 137 college majors to detail the most popular college majors, the majors that are most likely to lead to an advanced degree, and the economic benefit of earning an advanced degree by undergraduate major.
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