“The cost of college education today is so high that many young people are giving up their dream of going to college, while many others are graduating deeply in debt.”
Choosing the right path in life is an extremely important step every person should make while not everyone really succeeds. Unfortunately, when it comes to selecting the college and the major to pursue, only a few are really sure what they want. Even fewer are still satisfied with this choice later in life. In fact, it is quite doubtful that you are absolutely sure what you want to do in life at the age of 18. And when you see all those grownups dissatisfied and burdened with their jobs, you get chilled by the uninviting perspectives of your own future.
While the college major is the area of study you will obtain advanced knowledge in, it should not obligatorily determine your future career. As a matter of fact, a lot of people appear working in a totally different sphere after graduation. Nevertheless, there are quite many jobs that require specific degrees; and if you get seduced by one of them but in the course of your studies suddenly realize that it’s not really for you, you may end up highly frustrated, disappointed, and discouraged.
So, even though it is quite possible to switch your major somewhere in the middle of your college journey, it is still advisable to approach its selection wisely and reasonably. Ask yourself important questions about your interests, priorities, and expectations and answer them honestly to get the picture of how your future path should look like. Here, we offer some tips and tricks on choosing the right major if you still have no definite idea of what career to pursue.
Consider Your Interests and Passions
Perhaps, the most cherished dream of any person is to turn your hobby into a job. Just imagine the joy with which you will get up every morning and go to your workplace to do what you really like. Besides, it has long been discovered that students get more engaged in the learning process and demonstrate much better academic performance when they study something they are genuinely interested in. Indeed, subjects related to activities that you are passionate about will ensure your determination and focus, provide a richer college experience, and help you establish substantial relationships with like-minded people during your studies and after your graduation.
Evaluate Your Strengths and Weaknesses
It should be noted though that enjoying or being interested in something does not mean that you can successfully work in this sphere. For example, you may be crazy about the music while being an absolutely untalented musician. At the same time, you may be good at writing, a skill suitable for a prospective music critic, or possess outstanding communication skills, which would help you to excel as a music producer.
Therefore, it is good to base your choice of a major on your strengths. This way, the studies may come easy to you, translating to high academic performance and more success in your career. At the same time, if you exclude the options you are NOT good at, you will avoid struggles in your classes, failed assignments, and futile efforts to fight your way in the industry.
Define Your Values
Our values define our course of life, our actions, and our personal measurements of success and happiness. Therefore, they are one of the most significant influences when selecting a major. Think of what you stand for in life, what are your beliefs, mission, life vision, or end goal. These issues will help to see clearer what path you would like to pursue.
Envision Your Future
A trick with defining the values is that they may not yet be formed at the age of 18. The same is with life-long prospects. Still, try to figure out where you would like to see yourself in the future. Do you see yourself in some particular sphere? Are you planning to commit yourself to something specific or consider switching careers at some point? What position do you want to advance to? Do you see yourself working with people or doing some research or paperwork? Chances are high that you cannot answer all these questions with definite certainty. Besides, your priorities may change with time. Still, such issues should be also considered when choosing a college majors.
Decide on the Desired Salary
For many people, the earning potential becomes decisive when choosing a job. There’s nothing reprehensible about such a position, and considering the harsh world we are living in, financial considerations are not the least important. Moreover, you would definitely like to get some return on investment into your degree. Thus, specialists at paper writing services also advise you to research the earning potential of your future job as well as the prospects of various majors and job demands.
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to be paid well for doing what you love. Take into consideration the fact that different industries and even different positions within them have absolutely varied salary brackets. Therefore, make sure to research and consider the following questions:
- What is your desired minimum wage?
- What is the desired average wage?
- What are the prospects of this or that major?
- Is it in demand?
- Is it expected to be in demand?
- Is it expected to lose its demand?
- Are wages expected to increase or decrease in this or that field?
At the same time, it is unwise to make a choice solely on the basis of income. Even the highest-paying job can ruin your life if it will not bring you a bit of moral satisfaction.
Consider the Preferred Universities
The choice of the specific university may be dictated by a range of various factors: location and proximity, financial situation, favoured alumni, attractive extracurricular opportunities or student community, etc. However, it should also be noted that they all offer different quality of varied courses. While some are more business-oriented, others tend to have better research-related programs. Consequently, this issue must also be considered while choosing a major. If other aspects like financial questions or location are not important, make sure to select the university that ranks high for your chosen major. But if you have a definite institution on your mind, find out what is the position of the chosen major in it or research the options if you have not yet decided on the major.
Decide on Your Priorities
Being clearly aware of your priorities can help in choosing a major, facilitating your efforts to answer all the questions posed above. While some students choose their careers primarily on the basis of financial prospects, others base their choice on their interests and skills. Both positions are quite normal. However, there is still a catch in each of them:
- When focusing on economic advantage, you should consider a long-term perspective. Today’s salaries are sure to change in the future. Your task is to try to predict which way they will go: rise or decline.
On the other hand, we have already mentioned that even the highest salary will not make you happier if you are paid for what you hate doing, do not believe in, or feel like it contradicts your values. So make sure that you really want this before making the final decision.
- Basing your choice on your interests and abilities, you should be conscious of the risks. Firstly, some hobby-like jobs may offer the lowest salaries possible, which means that you will not be able to get any returns out of the investments in your degree. Secondly, there is no guarantee of stability. Thus, it is advisable to research the issue of unemployment rates in this or that field and again, try to predict the possible rise or decline in job demand.
Ask for Help
If after considering all these issues, you are still not sure how to go about the choice of major, ask for a second opinion.
Your parents, teachers, and other people who know you well may give a hint about your strengths. An academic advisor may offer a reasonable opinion on the basis of your academic and extracurricular records. A specialist in a field you may have in your mind can share their experiences, providing you with some insights about the major. All these opinions can help you to get a more vivid picture on the basis of your own considerations you have already made.
Online quizzes and personality tests are handy and helpful tools for getting the right direction. They will not offer a definite answer on what major you must choose, but you will get a list of options to consider.
However, never let other people decide for you. It is extremely important not to get influenced by public opinion or fall prey to parental or peer pressure. If you do what others want you to do, chances are high that you will regret it for the rest of your life. It’s your personal way, and you are the only person who can decide what turn to choose.