Last Updated on March 28, 2023 by Cher
Choosing a college major in 2023 is probably one of the most important decisions of college careers. In actuality, the journey in choosing the major is the fun part of the college experience. The pressure students might face in picking a major as soon as they enter college is something that is best ignored. Take your time and choose a major based on your comfort and affinity for the subject.
Here are a few tips to help narrow down a choice of major in college.
Who are you picking this major for?
First of all, you need to assert dominance in your academic career. It may sound unnecessary but make sure you choose a major that you want and are comfortable with. The outside pressures may be very persuasive, but they will not be doing the coursework or be committing to the many years of research and study in that field. Seek advice from others who may know you well, but this should be YOUR decision.
Changing Majors is not the end of the world, but seem strategic.
College is a combination of both working hard and working smart. When we think about our major there are obvious factors such as course load, career opportunities, and to some degree, satisfaction. If you choose a major and don’t find it to be super fulfilling, check to see if the problem stems from the department or the professors teaching for that major.
Departments are a prominent factor in student satisfaction.
Therefore, when searching for schools, having a vague idea of the career path you are intending to pursue might help you look for departments with professors who are experts in your interests. This is one of the most helpful tips because depending on the department, the same major might look different.
Is money everything?
Money is important. Financial stability is the holy grail. Deciding on your major based on how much money you would make may not be the best way to go. Work ethic trumps all. Opportunities for some degrees may be more obvious than for others. Overall, your willingness to make your degree work will make your choice, in turn, work for you as well. A quick search will yield many personal anecdotes for people who secured their dream job with a ‘nonsense degree’. The major factor of success in a major is a strong work ethic because truthfully, the job market is hard in general – no matter the major. As much as we want to base everything on earning power, the people who have degrees that they feel passionate about, have more enthusiasm to just “see where it takes them” while they take every opportunity seriously.
Use the vibe check.
If it feels off, don’t do it. The major you choose is more than the salary or the job title you will receive after. The major consists of the students, the professors, the coursework and how much you vibe with all those factors. When your time in college is complete, you might need letters of recommendation to move upwards.
Do you connect with any of your professors enough to ask them for an honest letter of recommendation?
Have you formed connections with the other students in your major?
If you are unsure or responded with “no” to either of these questions, you might need to rethink your major decision. Considering you may be relying on those professors to help you achieve future career goals and those students to maintain relationships with you as an adult, you need to consider your current connection with them.
How far do you want to go?
Stress, exhaustion, a Zoom overload… this year has been mentally or physically challenging for students. If you are at a crossroads with your academic career, this might be the time to reevaluate your relationship with your major. If you are tired of reading and writing, maybe switch to something with more numbers. The beauty of having too many majors to choose from is that there is always a new and different major to choose instead. Finding that niche major is better than fitting yourself in a department that does not feel right. If you want to get an advanced degree in a certain major, remember the work only gets harder. Therefore, choose wisely.
A lot of thought goes into choosing a college major. It’s common for people to have no idea what they want to do. No one should feel pressured to have it all figured out at the beginning of their college experience. Keep in mind that if your major does not bring you joy, you will be miserable for a long time, so consider it wisely. In this day and age, a little happiness goes a long way.