Choosing a Major

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How do you even begin to choose a major? That’s a tricky question to answer. How are you even supposed to know what you want to do with your life when you’re 18 anyway! Here are some tips to help you pick a major.

  1. What are you interested in? You’re going to be taking classes on this topic for the next couple of years, so make sure it’s something you are interested in learning more about. Look at the required courses and make sure they sound good to you. Not sure what you’re interested in? Try an interest assessment.
  2. Which subjects are you good at and which are you bad at? Thinking about being a pediatric nurse because you love children, but struggled through high school bio? Look at other college majors that let you work with kids but don’t require so much science. Child development, education, counseling, recreation and leisure, and social work are all good majors if you want to work with kids.
  3. What are your strengths and weaknesses? If you aren’t great at reading a lot and writing research papers, then history or sociology may not be the major for you. If you like working with other people, then you might not be happy majoring in computer programming. And if you hate working closely with others? Maybe nursing or education aren’t the best choices for you. Like working with your hands or working outside? Think about a trade.
  4. What career do you want? Research career options within your selected major. Visit your campus career center and ask about internships. If those internships don’t sound interesting to you, then this probably isn’t the major for you.
  5. What are your job prospects anyway? Career One Stop, sponsored by the Department of Labor lets you know what are the fastest growing careers in your area.
  6. Don’t be afraid to change your major. Don’t feel like you are locked in to your first choice. It’s better to change in your first year then to wait until you are too far along to change course. If you’ve been telling people for years that you want to be a doctor, and then you got to college and realized that you’d rather be a carpenter, that’s ok. Do what’s best for you!

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