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How To Choose A Major : A Complete Student Guide

A comprehensive guide to select the right major

How to choose a major field of study can be a difficult decision. A major is a specific subject area college students specialize in. Typically, between one-third and one-half of the courses you’ll take in college will be in your major or related to it.

Today’s college students are encouraged to weigh several factors before choosing an area of focus for a four-year degree program. Important considerations include:

overall program cost

salary expectations

employment rates in the field

advanced degree opportunities and a lot more things

Ultimately, students must decide which field will offer the best return-on-investment for their postsecondary education. This comprehensive guide will be a helpful resource for students who are unsure about which major is the best choice for them financially, professionally, and personally.

Before you start, don’t ask yourself “What major should I choose?” The right question is “What major is right for me?”

The very first step in getting the answer of “how to choose a major?”, is to observe the areas of study that are important to you. These can be divided into several general categories such as:

Pick a major based on abilities

Abilities are what you are able to do, generally speaking. Understanding what areas you have skills in and which areas could use work is a great way to start the elimination process when choosing a university major.

However, don’t discount the fields where you lack ability just yet, you’ll be able to build those up more during your studies – it is a place to learn, after all.

Pick a major based on passions

At first glance, your passions seem just like interest areas, only stronger. But this is quite an understatement. Passions are areas of deep interest, sure, but they also incorporate your values and abilities into something that becomes a burning, lifelong desire.

Following your passions, whatever they may be, is one of the best ways to choose a major.

You can get input from your close friends by telling them what you believe, your interests, passions, abilities, and values are. They might just help you decide what to major in.

Give Yourself Time

Even if you are entering university, most schools and their advisors recommend that you wait before declaring a major.

Consider taking a semester to find yourself, traveling around the world, or working part-time. This can really put things in perspective for you.

Choosing a major is ultimately your decision to make. However, if you need help picking a major, it’s time to turn to tried-and-true sources of encouragement and assistance.

Meet with Advisors

Who better to help you decide how to choose a major than the college advisors whose main job it is to do so?

Meeting with the university advisor will offer you more in return than just advice on which major is right for you – with their intimate knowledge of the specific university and campus, they can curate just the right course of study for each student.

If you’re researching on How to choose a major way in advance, you could ask your high school counselor or advisor to guide you with the process.

Disadvantages of the Major

Yes, every major that you choose will ultimately have some downsides and disadvantages. The only thing you can do is to be aware of them and to make sure that you can handle them when they decide to pop up.

Determine how likely you’ll be to switch majors. Many students switch their majors and change their minds throughout their university studies. While it’s not a disadvantage, it could cost more and take more time to achieve the degree. Also, if you are not able to afford the cost of education of your dream University, worry not, as UniCreds is here to help you get the lowest-interest education loans.

If likely to switch, how rigid are the prerequisites? If your first choice is something in medicine, but you have an inkling that you might want to change to financial management later down the line, the electives and core classes will probably be completely different, meaning you’ll be starting from the very beginning. So just keep these tips in mind:

Don’t overspecialize:

For your undergraduate studies, avoid choosing a major which is too specialized. Your career prospects and job outlook would remain all too narrow.

How connected is my chosen university:

You want to pick a major in a college that is well-connected to local contacts in your chosen field for that real-world experience. Any college too rural or too small may leave you at a disadvantage upon your graduation.

How will I be affected after I finish the program:

Make sure that you understand the costs, the future job market, and the locations you may have to relocate to advance your career.

Reality check

One quick thing to mention before we end is the reality check for how to choose a major. Before pulling the trigger on the major of your choice just ask yourself these questions:

What kind of job is right for me in the future as a career?

Will this major I’ve chosen help me towards it?

What college is right for me for my undergraduate studies?

Does this college offer a great program for my chosen major?

Does my chosen major fit my abilities, values, interests, and passions?

Have I identified all the downsides and disadvantages of my chosen major?

Just be real with yourself.

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Read next: The Unconventional College Life
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