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How to Choose Your College Major
One of the most anxious moments in life is choosing a college major. You might have dealt with most people trying to determine where you study and what major you hope to learn. But you’re not alone if you’re wondering how to pick one. Primary selection can be tricky, especially if you have multiple interests or aren’t sure what kind of career you would like to pursue.
Most learners change their majors at some point in their lives. College grads are 3 in 5 times likely to change their majors in college if they could go back, based on a 2020 BestColleges study. There are several factors to consider before committing to a major. We’ll cover those shortly in the following sections of this post. But first, let’s review the definition of a college major.
What is a College Major?
A college major defines the study area for a two-year or four-year degree. A major allows undergraduates to specialize in a particular field of study. It doesn’t matter if a student is a business or a biology major; they must take coursework related to their major to graduate.
It requires students to use excellent tools and online study materials that help them enhance their coursework. For instance, they can check Arizona State University documents here to help them with their studies. Major coursework requirements typically range from 30 to 36 credits depending on the college. Other credits are dedicated to general education requirements, minors, and electives.
A Guide to Choosing a College Major
Making a significant decision is one of the essential steps in the college process. Before choosing a major, it would be best to ask these questions:
What Are Your Top Priorities?
You may choose a major primarily because of the salary potential and job demand associated with that major. Some students might choose majors they are passionate about or are highly skilled at.
Choosing a major depends on several factors, including economic advantage, interest level, and ability.
What Are Your Interests?
Based on studies, students who pursue their interests perform better in school. But people often have difficulty determining their interests. It may be helpful to take a personality test to learn more about yourself. It’ll help you determine subjects that closely align with your interests and personality.
You can participate in student clubs, volunteer, work on campus part-time, manage a side hustle or complete an internship. These will also help you explore potential study and career paths.
What are Your Strengths?
Knowing your natural skills and talents can make all the difference in choosing a major. If your parents want you to be an artist, what if you’re more interested in business or science? If that path isn’t right for you, there is no reason to follow someone else’s degree.
Examine your high school grades and ACT or SAT scores closely to determine which academic fields best suit you. Doing this will help you focus on your strengths within a specific academic area.
What’s Your Ideal Work Environment?
To gain an understanding of how you will fit into a variety of work environments, you should visualize yourself in them. Selecting a major that matches your personality, preferences, and values can be as simple as knowing what environment is right for you.
Consider the following questions:
- Do you like working alone or in a group?
- Are you comfortable sitting at a desk and using a computer most of the time?
- Do you prefer to work a typical 9-to-5 shift, or are you open to working on weekends and evenings?
- Are you interested in working from home or commuting to an office?
- Do you enjoy structure and routine or value creativity and flexibility?
Imagine how different schedules and working conditions are between police officers and fashion designers. There’s nothing wrong with either career path, but it’s not for everyone.
Will the Coursework Be Rigorous?
Depending on factors such as the heaviness of homework and course expectations, some majors may be more challenging than others. You will spend most of your college time taking courses in your major. Understanding the workload you’ll face before choosing a major is essential.
According to the 2016 National Survey of Student Engagement conducted by Indiana University Bloomington, students spend an average of eight hours per week preparing for class. Aerial engineering, chemical engineering, and architecture were the most challenging majors to study. A few easier majors, such as criminal justice and communication, require little preparation.
Choosing a college major isn’t a straightforward task. Most students usually feel anxious at the thought of selecting one. But, if you could truthfully answer the above questions in this guide, you’ll pursue the career of your dreams.