Find the College Major That Fits Your Lifestyle and Your Skillset
Picking your undergrad major may seem like a daunting task. I mean it’s going to decide your entire career, salary, and life, right? Not quite…Your undergrad major can afford you great opportunities, so it’s something you should definitely take some time to consider, but it isn’t the be-all, end-all decision that it’s often hyped up to be. Instead, it’s a chance to align your choice of college, and the subjects you’ll study there, with some foundational topics to prepare you for your first few years out of college. But many (if not, most!) end up working in an industry completely separate from the subject they studied in school. Below we’ve gathered a few tips from our expert college grads to help you on your way to picking the major that’s right for YOU, this year, next year, and for your entire future.
- Consider your interests and passions
What is it that you really enjoy doing? Is there some cause or issue that you’ve always wanted to study? This is your chance to start getting involved in something you really care about. Choose a major you love—even if you’re not sure how to make a career out of it. There’s time and resources to figure that out. Trust me, you do not want to end up spending late nights in the library researching something you don’t find the least bit interesting. Plus, even if you don’t use what you study right away, eventually your career path will leverage all of your past learning.
- Research different majors
There are so many possibilities! You can major in everything from dance to marine biology to Chinese. Websites like BigFuture and College Raptor are great places to start your search, but if you know what schools you’re interested in, make sure to check out their specific programs. Parents, teachers, and older siblings can also be helpful. Try asking them why they chose their majors or how their majors affected their career paths—or ask them what they would major in if they could do it all over again?
- Explore a range of classes
Once you get to college, chances are you’ll have to satisfy some general credit requirements. Embrace it! General distribution requirements and elective courses are a great way to explore different subjects. Always wanted to go to Argentina? Enroll in a Spanish class. Think you want to get a business degree? Test out Economics 101 first. Want to be the next Indiana Jones? Start with some anthropology courses. You’ll be surprised at the range of classes your college offers. Sampling a range of them is a great way to discover what you enjoy studying while learning some cool stuff along the way.
- Take a look at the big picture
It’s important to take a step back and look at the world as a whole -- Which industries show the most promise, future growth, and opportunities? Read some blogs about budding industries or must-have 21st century skills (Check out Knovva Academy’s Applied Engineering and Robotics course!) I’d also recommend reading an article or two on the Top 10 Worst Majors of 20XX and the Top 10 Best Majors of 20XX. Thought it’s not very scientific, it’ll give you an idea of how today’s society views majors and minors, which is a good yardstick for how HR departments will rank them too.
- Don’t be afraid to change!
Just because you declared one major doesn’t mean you have to stick with it. Choosing the wrong one isn’t the end of the world. In fact, I’d say just as often as someone chooses the right one, someone chooses one that they don’t know much about or even like. You have to do what’s right for you—if that means switching from Business to French, so be it! Your old major coursework can even go towards a minor in that field instead.
Need more help understanding which major to choose? Get real-world knowledge about specific careers, jobs, and industries through a Knovva Academy program. Or, reach out to one of our education experts using our live chat feature!