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How to Choose a Major

How to Choose a Major

Choosing a major is a huge decision because it will impact your college years, internship options and your future career. That means it's not a decision you should take lightly. Here's what you need to consider before declaring a major.

What Do You Like?

You may love your Sculpture 101 class, but can you really see yourself devoting the rest of your college career (and possibly the rest of your life) to this field? Choose something you know isn't just a hobby or phase. If it takes you a year or two to figure that out before declaring a major, that's fine. Explore general education classes to give you an idea of what fields may really excite you. It's also perfectly okay to change your major if you decide the subject isn't something you're truly interested in or passionate about. 

Also, please don't feel pressured to declare a certain major just because your parents want you to be a doctor or a lawyer. Their aspirations aren't necessarily yours, and you don't want to spend years of your life studying a subject you can't stand. 

Marketability 

We've all heard some majors are more marketable than others. While it's true you shouldn't major in a subject you hate just because you think it'll get you a job, you shouldn't necessarily major in something you love without regard to the job market either. It's all about balance. 

If you really do want to study a subject that may not lead to a related full-time job after college, why not make it a minor? Plenty of people love philosophy or creative writing, but doubt they can make a career of these subjects. So thus, they choose an in-demand major and minor in something else they're interested in.

Career Aspirations

Maybe you've always known you want to be a teacher or geologist. In some cases, choosing a major is easy because it's directly related to the field you want to pursue. 

However, it's not that easy for everyone! If you want to be a public relations professional in a school that doesn't have a designated PR program, you'll need to figure out a way to make your major relevant to your career goals. Maybe you will choose to major in communication and minor in marketing instead. You can absolutely frame this experience as relevant to a PR job later on.

Grad School Goals

Do you want to further your education after your bachelor's degree is finished? Consider how your major will affect your goals for a master's degree, law or medical school. While you'll be expected to have a background in the topic, it's not always 100% necessary for law school hopefuls to get a bachelor's in political science. In fact, getting a more unusual major may make your application stand out more when you finally apply to medical or law school. 

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