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How to Pick the Right College Major

Knowing what college major to pick can be a daunting task. For close to two out of three students, four years of college is no longer the norm. A report by the US Department of Education reveals that most students now take six years to complete their bachelor’s degrees. Knowing what college major to pick early on can help you graduate in fewer years, and borrow less to do so. Here are some tips to help you make an effective choice of major as early as possible.

Which college major to pick

Think about what interests you

If there’s a subject that interests you, chances are that you’ll do well at it. A self-assessment is one of the best ways that you have of discovering what interests you. Your career center probably has the resources that you need to self-assess.

Think about what your values and beliefs are

You need to think about how important giving back to society is to you. If it’s more important than anything else to you, you’ll need to find a career that allows you to help people. Social work might be an option, as might be pre-med.

Talk to people who know you

The teachers and professors who have taught you probably have ideas about where your strengths lie. Ask them what they think your major should be. You can also talk to a career counselor for advice on what kind of majors and career paths may be right for you.

Pick different college majors to audit by signing up to introductory courses

Once you narrow down your interests to a few different majors, you can sign up to introductory courses in them. Since the classes you take will count toward your elective requirements, you won’t have to worry about wasting classes.

Find information about the requirements for a degree

Check out the syllabi of different courses that include the majors on your shortlist. The enthusiasm that you feel for the syllabi can help you decide which way to go. Find out also if there are any classes that you need to take in order to get started with a major. You have to figure out if you have enough time to take those classes in addition to your majors.

Keep exploring

While you may feel considerable pressure to quickly choose the right major, it’s important to remember that you can change paths at any point. Past the major requirements, you can use your elective credits to design the perfect course for your needs. You can cobble together a degree with interdisciplinary connections that open up new possibilities.

Finding the right major for yourself is important. When you’re passionate about something, you engage more fully in the learning experience, and go much further. Take new classes and lectures just to check them out. When you expose yourself to new opportunities and influences, you’ll stumble upon what you really want to do.

Recommended books from about how to pick the right college major

Follow Your Purpose: Career Direction for Students and Prospective Students

The Secrets of College Success

Fiske Guide to Colleges 2019

About the Author

Christopher Manns

I was born in the UK, grew up in Canada and have lived in the USA since the 90s. I love my family, water sports, ice hockey, skiing and soccer. When I'm not helping people save money on textbooks, I'm travelling with my wonderful family and playing sports.