Forge Your Career Path by Choosing the Right Major

Your college major could very well define your future, and so you need to think long and hard about your choices and decisions that relate to it. There’s literally an endless number of majors to choose from, and each university and college will differ in their program offerings. You need to pick one that can best help you achieve your life goals.

Granted, choosing the right college major can be hard, but there are ways to make the selection process easier. Let us walk you step-by-step through the process of finding the right major for you.

What is a major?

You may ask yourself: “What business major should I choose”? A college major is your specialized area of study. Put simply, it’s a specific set of subjects that you will focus on to get a college degree. Beyond the general college fare, you’ll also be taking a group of classes of your own choosing. Typically, around half of the subjects you take in college belong to your major or are related to it.

Depending on the college or university, you may opt to have two majors, have a major and minor, or even design your own major. In most four-year courses, you don’t have to declare a major after two years of college. If you select a two-year course, you’ll have to choose a major earlier because of the shortened course of study.

How important is your major?

As mentioned, your major may define your future, but there’s also the possibility that it may not. That’s what those extra subjects in college are for—prepare you for a wide range of job opportunities and professions, in case a career in your chosen field doesn’t pan out. Many people work in jobs and industries that have no connection whatsoever with their college majors. That said, if you plan to achieve a professional degree, like a doctor, engineer or attorney, you’ll need to take certain courses or prerequisites.

When working in a field that’s entirely unrelated to your major, it can make you feel like all your efforts in college was a waste of time, and so when choosing which subject to major in, it’s important to ask yourself which areas of study are important to you. You can begin by evaluating your interests, abilities, passion and values, among other considerations. If you love what you’re studying, you’ll be more likely to enjoy your classes and be fully engaged with your college experience.

Choosing the right major based on your interests – So what do you like to do? Do you enjoy art and technology at the same time? Why not major as a graphic artist? If you’re into interested in law and travel, what about taking up international relations? List down what you love doing, both inside and outside of school. Your interests are always a great starting point for determining which major to choose.

Choosing based on your abilities – In the movie ‘The Dark Knight,’ the Joker said: “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” Not to glorify a villain, but if you like doing it, why not get paid to do it? That’s a pretty sensible principle to abide by. Understand your skills and identify which industries and fields could use them. The takeaway here is to avoid majors that you may be weak in. For instance, if you barely passed math, taking an engineering course or any other STEM major is probably not the route you should consider. By choosing your major according to your abilities, you boost your chances of doing well in your area of study.

Choosing based on your values and passion – When you’re studying a major that follows your core beliefs, you’ll find your studies to be more fulfilling. That said, youth can mean that you haven’t developed or strengthened your core values and beliefs yet, and since college time is a time of self-discovery, you need to make values and passion your primary reason for your college major selection, but it can definitely be an excellent place to start. Especially if you’re taking a four-year high school major course of study, you still have two years to decide what you really want.

Choosing based on income potential – If earning a high salary is important to you, then you need to be realistic with your expectations. That said, you should know that courses with huge income potential are also often the most expensive and that higher income may not be worth it if your extra money goes into paying off your student loans. Additionally, sometimes your income potential can be maximized by attending graduate school, so keep this in mind as you choose your major.

Choosing based on job demand – Naturally, you want to do something that speaks to your interests, but you also want to do something that ensures your future employability, because entering a stagnant job market isn’t exactly ideal, even if you don’t like it. When you’re working out your major, it can help to research the labor market trends and find out which jobs a have good employability prospects. Of course, you shouldn’t necessarily have to choose a career based on skill shortage alone, but it’s helpful to know how good your chances are of landing a job.

Research possible majors early

There are steps you can take to explore different academic and career options before you enter college. Read books and articles, research careers online, attend college lectures and events that are open to the public, ask your advisor, etc. You may even interview and consult with adults who work in careers you are interested in. If you find a major course interesting, learn more about it. The process of choosing the best major for you takes work—work that you have to do yourself.

Employment opportunities come in many forms, and it is up to you to apply your knowledge, experience, skills, and degree to bring value to your job. Your major helps give you the confidence to work in a specialized subject area, prove yourself, and thrive by applying what you learned. Come graduation, Resumeble is here to help you build a captivating resume/CV and cover letter that will get you noticed by your target employer.

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