Choosing the Right Major for You

It’s that time in your life when there’s an abundance of important decisions to be made. Who do you take to prom? Where do you want to attend college? Who will your room with? And importantly, which major should you pick? It’s an awful lot for a 17-or 18-year-old to determine, but the process doesn’t have to overly complicated. By doing your homework and a little soul-searching, you’ll have a better idea of what you want to study for the next four-to-five years.

If you study something in which you’re interested, your chances of success will be greatly enhanced. Is there a particular subject you’ve enjoyed while in high school? Did you make good grades in it? Do you have the skills that are conducive to performing well in that discipline academically? For example, if you love math and outperformed many of your peers in Algebra, Geometry and Calculus, while underperforming in subjects like English and History, then common sense dictates you should consider a math-related major such as statistics, finance or engineering. Conversely, if you love to read, research and write, then a liberal arts major may be your best bet.

Practically speaking, your major should lay the foundation for your career, so knowing what you value from work is important. Do you want job security? Would you like to help others? Do you enjoy working in group settings? Are you motivated by fast-paced environments and deadlines? Do you like to travel? All of these factors and more should be taken into consideration when determining how you want to make a living. Ideally, your career will provide enjoyment, fulfillment and security. Also, be aware of the amount of education needed to earn a certain job. If you’re not willing to go to grad school, then avoid careers that require advanced degrees.

Other details should factor into your decision as well, like whether or not a major is a strength of your already-chosen school. You can thumb through a course catalog to see if the degree requirements suit your interests. If you know someone who’s currently pursuing your desired major, ask their thoughts on their classes and professors. The more research you undertake, the more likely you’ll select a major you’ll stick with until graduation.