Choosing a major can be very confusing for most college students. Many young adults are starting college around the age of 18 or 19 and this is likely the first major decision that they are making. Here are a few tips to help guide you or someone you know through the process.
Choose a major
that interests you.
Regardless of how much money you think you may or may not earn after graduation, picking a major that you flat out have no interest in is a bad decision. Generally when people lack interest in an area, they lack motivation. While this should not be the only factor in deciding your major, if you have two majors that are equally valuable, it is probably best to go with the one that will give you extra motivation.
Be aware of how long
the degree may take.
Many people who start college can get themselves in a sticky situation when they do not understand that certain undergraduate degrees are virtually useless without attending a graduate program. Recognize and research which majors require a higher education. (Check back here for more resources).
Do not let others influence you.
The major that you choose should always be solely your decision. Many people have family members that will try to pressure them into doing something they have no interest in. Generally this happens when parents are trying to carry on what their personal career choice was or what they wish they would have done. At this particular point, respect your parents and those around you, however, this is YOUR life and it is time to decide what you feel works best for you.
Choose a valued degree.
Certain degrees are less valuable than others, as you can see from the list that is constructed below. Upon graduation, there are companies that have a high demand for specific degrees. In an effort not to degrade any degree that one has chosen, I will not point out specifics. But, always make sure you do not choose a major based on how hard or easy you believe it may be. College should be both challenging and rewarding.
Recognize a degree
only gets you in the door.
At some point you hopefully will graduate. Your degree is what gets you in the door, but it will not keep your job. Companies love bright people, however, they only keep those who are able to do the job correctly. There are several cases where people graduate from ivy league schools but are unable to hold a job simply because they were ONLY book smart. And if you happen to be one of those people who graduated from college with the "wrong" degree for you, DO NOT let that stop you. You can always seek volunteer opportunities or try entry level positions in a new field of your choice. If you took a small poll, you will probably quickly find that there are a lot of people who are working in a field that is completely different then how they initially started. This is primarily because many people do not think the same way at 30, as they did at 18. Also, the economic crisis has forced people to choose jobs that are not in their field. If you fall into one of these categories, do not worry. Many people are dealing with the same issues; stay focused and take life one day at a time.
TOP 15 MAJORS
(According to Forbes. Click on the degree to learn more.)
- No. 15: Statistics
- No. 14: Physics
- No. 13: Finance
- No. 12: Construction Management
- No. 11: Mathematics
- No. 10: Applied Mathematics
- No. 9: Petroleum Engineering
- No. 8: Management Information Systems
- No. 7: Geology
- No. 6: Civil Engineering
- No. 5: Environmental Engineering
- No. 4: Software Engineering
- No. 3: Computer Science
- No. 2: Biochemistry
- No. 1: Biomedical Engineering
Written By: Te-Shandra Haskett, MBA
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)."