Career Advice Job Searching Tips Talent Management

Choosing a Major 101

By: Mariah Rogers
Aug 31, 2020 • 4 min read

So Many Choices, So Little Time

As the end of the semester rolls around, college students are faced with having to decide on their major. For the remainder of their academic career, most of the required courses will be based on this chosen major, with little wiggle room. This can be a tricky decision, especially if you are not sure where your passions lie. Familial pressure can also be a factor that is persuading you to follow a particular path. Here is your guide to choosing a major.

What Are Your Interests?

Have you ever taken a class that is so boring you are practically snoozing half the time? It is probably best not to major in that subject! Look over your completed credit list and identify the courses that really inspired you and subjects that you actually enjoy learning about. This doesn’t mean that you should choose the classes that were a piece of cake; instead, find a subject that matches your career goals. Talk to professors from departments that you enjoyed and get their input on classes they recommend. They might be able to put you in contact with upperclassmen from your desired major.

Take a Look at Your Transcript Before Choosing a Major

While passions are more important than grades, it is still essential to ensure that you can be successful in your chosen field of study. Look over each class you have taken so far and what grade you earned. Your grades can be a reflection of your passion for the subject, a talent for the field, and a connection with the content. When you like what you’re learning, you have a better chance of doing well. Use grades as a foundation for choosing your major.

flat lay photography of blue backpack beside book and silver MacBook

Future Goals

Ultimately, you want to choose a major that will help you in achieving your long-term career goals. Attend career fairs at your college and explore job opportunities that align with your interests. Find out what current employees at your desired companies majored in during their undergrad. This is a great way to find out what majors are attractive to certain employers.

Can You Change Your Mind After Choosing a Major?

The short answer is – absolutely! However, the set date for when you have to choose your major depends on the college or university that you attend. Make a meeting with your academic advisor and identify if you will be able to change your mind early on into completing your major. Find out if there is an option to minor in your second choice subject. Making your course work reflect your values and interests will only benefit you when it is time for your first job search.

Will This Career Last?

In the age of artificial intelligence and advancing technology, it is important to ask yourself if the skills you are studying will be valuable in the future. Does your major require a combination of both hard and soft skills? Will you be able to adapt to progressing technology as your career journey goes on? Making sure that your skillset is well rounded and moldable can ensure your talents will be needed for a long time.

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Explore Electives Before Choosing a Major

Instead of filling your elective requirements with a random class here and there, use these spaces to explore different options for your major. If you can, try to take one course from another field every semester until you have to decide on a major. Not only is this a great way to meet friends with different interests, but you’ll be able to test out a few lectures and see what the best fit is.

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