How to Choose a Major

In College Life on Jun 07, 2016

What should my major be? A lot of students ask themselves this question, and for good reason! Choosing a major is a huge decision; it'll 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. 

Don't feel pressured into a certain major just because your parents want you to be a doctor or chemist. 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 they choose an in-demand major and minor in something else they're interested in. 

If you're looking for a degree you know will pay off in the long run, check out our list of six-figure majors.

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 get into. 

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 choose to major in communication and minor in marketing instead. You can absolutely frame this experience as relevant to a PR job later down the lines, especially if you have a great internship to support your application!

Grad School Goals
Do you want to further your education after your bachelor's degree is finished? Consider how your major will - or won't - affect your goals for a master's degree down the line. The same goes if you want to head to law or medical school after graduation. While you'll be expected to have a background in the topic you'll study later on, it's not always 100 percent necessary for law school hopefuls to get a BA in political science or aspiring doctors to major in pre-med. In fact, getting a more unusual major may make your application stand out more when you finally apply to medical or law school. 

College Life

Can I get Into...

We Know Your Chances. Do You?

What Are My Chances