How to choose a College Major

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

If you are having a hard time thinking about what major to pursue in college, here are some tips that may help you.

"How do I know whether a college major it's right for me?"

This is one of the most common questions among college-bound students who are not sure about what would be best for them. 

Choosing a major is a very important decision, and many students have a really hard time considering what to study. This decision will have a long-term impact both in their professional and personal lives, since it will determine their future job opportunities. That's why it's no piece of cake to choose a major.

There are more factors that can have an impact on our future, including skills, personality, willingness to improve, among other qualities, but it all comes down to the major. The major you choose will certainly have a huge impact on your academic as well as your professional success, since it will determine what other degrees you can pursue and the job opportunities you’ll have once you graduate.

In order to make sure that you choose the right major for you, there are some tips you can take into consideration that may help you in your journey of self-discovery. 

1. Ask yourself these questions

Choosing a major is a process of self-discovery. You need to know yourself in depth if you want to make sure the major you choose really suits you, your needs, interests and expectations.

Asking yourself the following questions and making sure you answer them with honesty will go a long way in helping you set you on the right track:

  • "What are my passions?"
  • "How do I want to impact the world?"
  • "What are my strengths and qualities?"
  • "What are my expectations in 10 years?"

2. Pick different majors according to different aspects

  • Abilities: Being able to tell what you are good at will allow you to know what kinds of career paths you could be good at, which is a major step towards discovering which major you should choose.
  • Values: This has to do with your core beliefs and principles, which will help you study something you enjoy. 
  • Interests: If you are interested in what you study, it will help you enjoy it. Plus, if you are interested in something, why not get paid for it?
  • Passions: Being passionate about what you do will help you both enjoy your work, do everything at your disposal to do it right, and allow you to grow in the field.

It is important to consider all these aspects, but by no means should you make your decision considering only one of them, as they may change over time or you may discover later on you had some abilities you hadn’t realized you had. These are only aimed at guiding you, but not at limiting you.

3. Consider the future

It is important that you consider your current passions, interests and abilities to choose a major. However, the word “current” is what you should consider the most. As they are your “current” interests, passions, etc., they may and most likely will change in the future. For that reason, you should let the door open for possibilities, meaning that you should try and choose a major that doesn’t limit your opportunities neither now nor in the long run.

  • Will I enjoy this in the future?
  • What does this field look like in 10 years from now?
  • Will it be employable?
  • Will it pay?

Doing thorough research into the fields you are considering will help you discover its prospective employability and earning potential, which are also important when choosing a major, since your decision should not only be based on what you are passionate about.

4. Give yourself time to process everything

It is highly advisable to start considering what major to pursue as early in high school as possible, since it enables students to have a lot of time to consider all their options, choose what they think they want to do and change their minds many times until they find the right one for them.

All these tips are aimed at helping you get to know yourself, which can help you choose a major that suits you. However, choosing a major is not a one-size-fits-all process, which means you may find yourself wanting to change majors in college, and there's nothing wrong with that.

The journey through college and university is also a self-discovery process, so don’t feel bad if you realize you are on the wrong track.

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