What are Some Factors to Consider when Choosing a Major?
⚠️ Disclaimer: This advice does not apply to everyone! Be sure you are using this as a general guide and not a set of rules as they are not always applicable. ⚠️
Choosing a major may seem like a daunting task. However, most career 💼opportunities are just looking for a completed degree! As long as you have experience and transferable skills, it should be possible to hit your goals regardless of your major!
Just know that you do not have to have it all figured out now. Here are some of the big picture factors to consider when determining your major
to ensure you are making the best choice!
But before you even begin the journey,
consider checking out this guide to discover who you are
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1: 💼 Career Goals 💼
College is the beginning of your professional career, so consider where you want your career to go when picking your major. If you already have your eye 👁️on a specific profession, you should look into the requirements for securing that job.
Even if you only know a field of work you are interested in, majors tend to be general enough for you to find one that fits that field. Some majors tend to open more doors for success than others, so be sure to find one that connects well with your ambitions 🌟!
For some programs (such as nursing), you need to declare your intent on studying it while applying for colleges. If you are interested in a program like this, be sure to dedicate time ⌛to confirm your interest in the career path before diving right in.
2: 🤩 Your Passions and Interests 🤩
If you have yet to start thinking about a possible major, this is the place to start ✅. Since you spend so much of your life working, it should be something you care about and want to be doing.
Start by writing ✏️down some of the subjects you enjoyed during high school, as well as the side passions you appreciate in your free time. Seeing them written down in front of you could help you see new possibilities and could spark a few ideas for your major.
3: 🏆 What are You Good At? 🏆
Although your passions are important, you should also think about your skills and strengths 💪. You might want to pursue a major that can help you build on top of your already existing strengths. Writing these down next to your interests can be very revealing to potential majors.
While your skills aren't everything since you’ll grow them while in college, they can give insights into what you would be a natural in and what might take more effort. If you love a field of study enough, you could always work on whatever strengths are needed to succeed in it. If you are truly interested, you will want to work at it no matter what, so a weakness shouldn’t be a deterrent.
4: 🔮 Consider Your Future 🔮
When you peer into the future, what do you see your life looking like outside of your career? Your work life has a considerable impact on your time and other opportunities for your personal life.
Your work/life balance all depends on what you decide to go into. If you dream of traveling ✈️ all the time, make sure you are pursuing something in line with that.
Earning potential 💰is another big part of your future when considering a major. College typically comes with loans, and paying them off will be challenging–you want to make sure you can pay them back with the degree you earn.
5: 🏫 The College You are Attending 🏫
If you have already committed to a college but not a major, check out the list 📝
of majors they offer. Not all schools provide all majors, so be sure that your heart is set on a program actually offered there.
Many colleges are well-known for specific programs, and the program’s quality can dictate the quality of education you’ll receive. If you can, make sure your college and program are a good fit for one another before making any permanent decisions.
If you haven't committed to a college yet, no worries! Check out this guide to choosing a college
for more help.
6: 🤔 Attending School Undeclared 🤔
❗Myth: You have to Know Your Major Before Going to College ❗
Finding a major is an important choice that you should take your time 🕒 considering. If you are utterly at a loss 🤔 or are interested in more than one program, consider going into college undeclared
Getting a few general education classes under your belt before deciding can give you more clarity about what a particular major would look like. You will naturally figure out what you do and don’t like!
Also, switching majors is not a bad thing — you are not stuck in one major once you declare it, and some colleges won’t have you declare your major until you’ve taken some courses to truly get a feel for things anyways (typically end of sophomore year).
There is also an option of completing a double major. Although it’s a lot of work 📚
and not always possible, it could be worth it if you are genuinely interested in two fields and can’t choose. Good luck!
If you’re in search of a resource to help you inform your career decisions, check out Forage
, the go-to platform for career discovery, learning, and recruiting, straight from employers.
Next, check out these comprehensive guides about choosing a major
and comparing majors
Author: Erica Burns, Forage Content Writing Intern
Erica Burns is a senior at Temple University studying English and political science and is currently a Content Writer Intern with the Forage. She is passionate about writing, all types of literature and politics, specifically environmental and human rights.