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Tips on How to Choose a College Major

At 18, choosing a college major can feel like an impossible task. How can one know that the decision they make now will be what makes their 30-year-old self fulfilled and happy? While there are no guarantees, it’s important to remember that your major does not necessarily dictate the job you will have postgraduation or the career path you will take. Often, employers are more interested in the skills and experiences you can bring to the table than the specific degree you have. With that in mind, the following activities may help you in choosing a college major that is suitable for you:

  1. Explore your interests. Take the time to consider what you're truly passionate about. What subjects do you enjoy studying? What nonacademic activities excite you? You’re more likely to excel in a field you’re passionate about so your major should align with your interests.
  2. Research different majors and careers. Once you have a general idea of the types of subjects and activities you enjoy, research the different majors that align with those interests. Look at where recent grads in your division are working and connect with alumni to hear about their postgraduate experiences.
  3. Consider your skills and strengths. Think about the skills and strengths you can offer and consider how they can be applied in different majors and career fields. For example, if you’re a skilled interviewer and like investigating, a degree in journalism may be a good fit.
  4. Talk to professionals in the field. Connect with professionals in the fields you're considering and ask them about their experiences and career path. Those engaged in a particular industry or pursuit can provide insights on what a career in that field is really like and whether it's a good fit for you.
  5. Keep your options open. Your major is not set in stone; it is okay to change it or switch career paths after you graduate. Life is unpredictable. Your interests and goals may change over time, and the opportunities afforded to you may not be those you anticipate.
  6. Meet with a counselor or advisor. Academic advisors and career counselors are a great resource to help you explore different majors and career options. They can provide you with critical information about academic requirements, career opportunities, and job outlook for different majors.
  7. Take relevant classes. Many colleges and universities offer introductory classes for different majors. Taking a few of these classes can give you a taste of the subject matter and help you determine if it's the right major for you.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to choose a major that aligns with your interests, passions, and career goals. With research, patience, and guidance, you can find the perfect major for you.