Some college-bound students have a basic idea for career pathways after high school while others may still feel unsure about their future, even with college application deadlines looming around the corner. Choosing a college major can be intimidating, especially with so many well-rounded degree programs readily available.
Should students pursue a degree in chemistry, or should study adolescent psychology? Read on to discover helpful tips for choosing a college major to help pave the path for a high-paying job and a fulfilling career.
Many students enter college without declaring a major. Students typically declare a major by the end of sophomore year at most four-year colleges. This gives undeclared college students ample time to experience different classes – whether elective or general education requirements – to discover their passions and interests. In most cases, a broad sampling of subjects often gives students the right insight into declaring the ideal college major.
Passions and interests lay down the groundwork for a successful college experience. After more than 12 years of schooling, most students have a sense of their skills, interests, and passion. More importantly, students dedicate time to explore different areas of interest through reading, extracurricular activities, volunteer opportunities, classes, and more.
The most crucial thing that students must remember when choosing a major is to stick with a subject that interests them. Students should also consider college majors that overlap with their acquired skillset to satisfy career goals. Teachers and advisers can offer guidance on the best choice based on a student’s interests, skills, and career goals. Furthermore, internships, work experience, leadership programs, and more will shape the direction of a student’s career path as a whole.
A particular major might sound appealing, but different academic programs may have various requirements and pre-requisites, such as classes as lab work or completing introductory-level courses. Moreover, some college departments may only offer classes in the fall semester but not in the spring or vice-versa.
Before committing to a college major, students should register for a class or two in the relevant discipline. Next, undeclared students should review the course syllabus and interview students in the department for advice. Chatting with other students will let undeclared students know if they’re ready for the coursework required because some college majors are more challenging and have a high dropout rate.
If a student realizes he or she chose the wrong college major after completing a few classes, they can still opt to pursue a different degree program. One of the most exciting aspects of college life is that it exposes students to compelling subjects. For example, a student may begin his or her undergraduate studies as a Political Science major, only to discover their true passion is Criminology. Keep in mind, however, that changing majors can potentially delay a student’s graduation date.
It’s important to remember that a bachelor’s degree is a stepping-stone toward personal and professional goals—not the final destination. Regardless of the chosen degree program, students should remember that a college diploma sets them apart from a growing number of competitive candidates in the job market. For students who still aren’t sure about his or her college goals, make sure to subscribe to our blog for more helpful college admission tips and trends.