Choosing your college major can be very difficult, especially if you have a lot of interests. Many students struggle with deciding what they want to major in. In fact, it is not uncommon for students to spend their first year of college undecided. There is nothing wrong with being undecided; however, you do need to take steps to help you figure out what you would like to major in. There are many things to consider when choosing your college major, and it is important to consider each factor carefully. By carefully considering your options, you will be much more likely to choose a major that will make you happy.
1. Observe Classes
When you are choosing your college major, you can observe upper level classes to help you make your decision. Observing upper level classes will help give you an idea of what you would be learning and doing in a specific major. For example, I majored in history, and anyone observing my junior and senior history classes would have heard a lot of discussion. We spent at least half of our classes analyzing historical documents and sharing our opinions. If you do observe some classes to help you make your decision, make sure you talk to some students afterward. You can ask them what they like and dislike about their major. This can really be helpful, because students are very honest about their opinions regarding their major. To observe classes, you need to talk to your advisor about what classes you would like to observe. Usually they can help you set up a time to observe. Keep in mind, each university has different policies about observing.
In addition to observing classes that are required by a major you are interested in, you should also look at the curriculum. The curriculum will list the required courses for your major. You can usually find this online or in the course catalogue. When you look at the curriculum of a major you are interested in you may discover that you would like to take most of the required courses. However, you could also find out that very few of the required courses interest you. If this is the case, that might not be the major for you. You might be surprised how helpful just looking at the curriculum is when you are trying to find a major.
Aside from considering the courses, it is also wise to consider what you are passionate about. You will be spending a lot of time taking courses and doing homework for the classes that are required for your major, and it really helps if you enjoy what you are learning. If you are passionate about your major, you will actually enjoy the reading and be excited to go to class. Also, you will be more motivated to do extracurricular activities like joining clubs or interning. In addition to considering what classes you would be passionate about taking, you should also consider what career you would be passionate about. You should try and choose a major that will help you get your dream job!
In addition to thinking about what you are passionate about, you should also think about what your skills are when you are trying to choose a college major. Everyone has certain things they are talented in. For instance, I am really great at research, which is one reason why I excelled in history. Make a list of all the classes you do well in, and even make a list of any extracurricular activities that you excel in. One of the great things about college is there are many different majors to choose from. If you are great at sports, you might like being a personal trainer, a coach, or even a physical education instructor. Thinking about what your skills are will help you choose a major that you will excel in and enjoy. It will also help you narrow down the list of the wide possibilities of majors that you can choose from.
5. Potential Careers
Looking beyond college is often helpful when you are trying to pick a college major. Ultimately, you want your major to coincide with your desired career. Talk to your advisor and find out what major would help you get into your dream job. If you are not sure what you would like to do after college, ask your advisor what careers are possible with the majors you are interested in. You can even go to the career center and ask for assistance from one of the career counselors. Career counselors can be very helpful. They can even give you a career aptitude test.
6. Job Outlook
Another factor you may want to take into account is job outlook. The job outlook is a prediction of how fast specific careers are expected to grow. It also predicts which careers are expected to contract. If being in a field that is experiencing job growth is important to you, you should visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. This website has an Occupational Outlook Handbook that is put out annually and lists the job outlook of hundreds of careers. Looking at this handbook can give you a general idea of what the job market will look like when you graduate for each career you are interested in. Aside from listing the job outlook, this handbook also describes careers, which can be very useful at giving you an idea of what a certain job entails. You can find it at bls.gov.
7. Job Shadow
While you can read about what a job entails in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the best way to determine if a job is for you is to job shadow. If you are interested in a certain career, find somewhere you can job shadow. When you job shadow you have the opportunity to follow someone around and see what they do. You will also be able to ask questions, which is a perfect opportunity to find out what they majored in or what they would recommend you major in if that is the career you want. Talking to someone who has the career you want can be really helpful, especially in terms of assisting you in choosing a major.
I know many people who struggled with choosing a college major. It can be very difficult to decide what major is best for you. However, using these tips of things to consider when you are picking your major will help you narrow down your options. You just have to take time to carefully consider what you want to major in. Eventually, you will choose the perfect major for you. Are you struggling with choosing a major?