When it comes to choosing a college major, even the laid back tend to lose their cool. Majority of college-goers don’t have a proper game plan regarding their career until they become juniors or sophomores. And even those who have some sort of a plan in their minds, remain in doubt.
So, what exactly is a ‘College Major’?
Simply put, your college major is your area of specialization. It is not a single course, but a group of courses that one is required to start taking in their junior or sophomore years, in order to receive the degree and be able to call themselves ‘specialized’ in a certain field. For example, a business student can specialize in either Marketing, Finance, Economics, Management, MIS, etc., with each requiring its own unique set of courses. Similarly, a person specializing in chemistry will have to take a certain set of courses, including Calculus, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Physics, among many others.
Is it possible to make a career in something NOT related to your major?
The short answer: Yes. A major does not decide one’s future career(s). Many college students, after graduating, shift towards careers which have nothing to do with what they majored in. And you can also change your major. Many students do not realize this until after graduation, and are therefore scared to choose one, as they are still under the impression that their majors will either make or break their lives. However, it is best to make a career out of something that you’ve studied for many months, as choosing a completely different career path can be very challenging.
How do you decide on a college major?
You should know that it is not something that you can decide overnight. You must do deep research and get as much counselling as you can from your professors and adults. So, if you are reading this and about to enter your junior year at college, it is best that you make up your mind and avoid hasty decisions, and regret being stuck with courses that you hate later on. Without further ado, here are the things one should consider while choosing a college major:
1. Your passion.
You may or may not have a certain passion in mind. Chances are, that you’ve always wanted to become an accountant, a software engineer, a psychologist, an artist or an entrepreneur. Chances are, that you have absolutely no idea of what you’d like to do for the rest of your life, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. As mentioned before, choosing a major will not decide your career(s), but choosing a major based on the career you’d like to pursue will help you excel fast. So, discover your passion if you already haven’t, and find out what major is best suited for it.
Another thing to consider is how much different college majors are earning in the market. Having a passion is great, but let’s be realistic here. We all need money to survive, and the market for many majors is saturated around the world, due to less demand and more supply. The result? Jobless graduates. Do some researching and find out about such markets. Try to avoid a saturated job market by majoring in a field that will help you secure a job that actually pays well, easily. If your field of choice has a saturated job market, then work extra harder than your peers to get ahead and have a few backup plans in case you’d need to shift careers later on.
3. Your favorite subjects.
Studying something that you love will automatically result in better grades, better relationships with your peers and teachers and a promising career. For example, if you’re good at math, why not major in Mathematics, Statistics or Economics?
If you’re already not in your junior/sophomore year, you still have a few semesters left to discover your passion, research the market and get enough counselling. Avoid making quick decisions at all cost. Good luck!