Choosing the right college major is hugely important, and it’s so much of a big deal that it can be an intimidating choice. It will affect the rest of your life, and you have to strike the right balance between finding something that you will enjoy and gaining a qualification that will help you to get work. Here are 5 ways to make the choice that make all the right sense.
1. Choose in college
A lot of people want to be ready to go right out of the gate, and it’s no wonder – unemployment after college is a big issue that makes students worry a lot. But you don’t have to make the decision right away, and the college system is set up that way for a reason. Take the time to try some classes in at least your first year before choosing a major. This will give you time to figure out what you enjoy, where your natural talents lie, and what kind of work you might want to do after college. Making a hasty choice to go into psychology, for example, will fall flat when you realize you can’t handle the statistics aspect.
2. Find your passion
When you have a passion, work won’t feel like work. That’s an old saying which is very much true to real life. If you are good at something and you really enjoy it, and it could be a career for you, then go for it. Although your parents might push you to be a lawyer or a doctor, you can still make a lot of money in hospitality management or by being an entrepreneur. Having the knowledge on hand to know your career prospects when choosing your passion will help you to see that the things you love to study could turn into a real career after you graduate college.
3. Get the details
While you have these services at hand to help you, spend as much time as possible asking questions. Find out what each major you are considering entails, and whether you will be suitable for it. Ask about career prospects if you graduate with that major. Speak to the career services office or graduate services about the reality of each major and the career path that it offers. The more information you have, the better armed you will be to make a choice that works for you.
4. Stick with it
If you choose a major early – which is often necessary for fields such as medicine and engineering – you might feel a lot of apprehension about leaping in too soon. There’s nothing to say that making that early choice won’t pay off for you. Don’t make a snap decision and try to change your major after just a few months, or even a year. You may well find that your problems come down to something else: feeling homesick, being overwhelmed with learning new things, or feeling too much pressure, for example. Those issues won’t go away if you choose another major, so settle in and give it a go.
5. Follow your heart
The one big question you have to answer is what you want to do. Not what your parents want, not what your boyfriend or best friend is doing, not what everyone says you should do. Make it about you, and you can’t go wrong – it’s a learning curve either way.
When you have the right college major, everything will work out. And even if you make the wrong choice, don’t sweat it too much – hard work will overcome anything!
Guest blog by Martha Kangas, BizDb.co.nz
Martha Kangas, BizDb.co.nz