Graduating from high school may seem hard, but getting into the college of your dreams is harder. The level of difficulty increases more when you are taking what seems to be the most important decision which can either make or break your career- choosing a major. While the validity of the claims regarding its ultimate importance in the larger scheme of things can always be debated, but there’s no doubt that choosing the right path can propel you into a better career without wasting many years.
There are a variety of majors to make a choice from. So colleges and university programs offer varied combinations of choices. But there are some ways which can help you choose the right major for yourself from the seemingly entangled threads:
Many people either don’t consider what they themselves want to do or they can’t decide what it is that they want. There are some ways to figure this out- first is to ask what are the areas of study you are interested in or are important to you. You can make this choice based on your abilities and skills. Recognizing the areas in which you feel subpar is a good place to start the elimination process. Or you can choose based on your interests and values. Having interest regarding a subject imbues one with the enthusiasm to learn more about it. But values and interests- they may change over time, especially in an experimental university setting where you will be exposed to more ideas than before.
Many might think that grouping this one with the above would work best, but there is a difference between interests and passions. Passions are much deeper areas of interest which work by incorporating the abilities and values into something which makes up a lifelong desire. Following these, no matter what they may be is actually one of the best ways to choose a subject to major in. Of course, as with everything else, they might also change.
If you feel confused and lost regarding what to do or what major to take, talking with close friends and family members might help a lot. They will know what you are good at and ideally offer an objective analysis of your abilities. Even if you don’t get a concrete answer from them, you will be able to air out your questions and frustrations.
When in doubt, always talk with a professional. A career advisor will have more concrete methods of testing what your strengths and weaknesses are. They are also very knowledgeable and will be able to suggest you previously unknown fields or the majors which might have seemed not for you.
All of the abilities, passions, and interests may end up changing in the years to come. So before committing yourself to a major, there are some questions you should ask-
• Will the major be enjoyable even years from now?
If you can’t settle on a concrete ‘yes’ then going for a broader field is advisable.
• Can you find employment through it?
Asking yourself if you can land a job in its related fields after getting the degree can act as a great eye-opener for some. Be brutally honest with yourself.
• Will the degree be there later on in your life?
We are living in an age of immense technological progress and this will just continue to improve by leaps and bounds in the future. The question to answer here is- will it provide employment for decades to come? Think carefully.
• Will it pay well?
In this world money talks, the loudest and no one wants to struggle in life so it is important to keep in mind if you will be able to get a good compensation. Be realistic and keep in mind what you want to ideally earn after getting the degree and if it is possible to get that.
No matter how many reasons you may hear to the contrary, it’s important to get this right. The validity, real-world weight of the degree and employment chances may depend upon going to a reputable institution. The important thing is to choose the best institution in relation to the degree you have chosen to specialize in.
Now that the main issue of choosing the right degree is sorted out, here are the majors’ which best match career paths:
• Engineering: Engineering majors can secure a job in infrastructure, gas, robotics and more. They are also the most paid.
• Computer science: Computer Science majors learn about data structures, programming, operating systems, and much more and they do get jobs in the related fields as well.
• Math and sciences: Considered to be the always in demand field, majoring in this can land you a job as a statistician, research analyst, actuary, biological technician, lab assistant, chemist or more.
• Business: In an era of globalization and technological advancements, majoring in this can get you a job as a market researcher, management analyst, human resource manager and more.
• Agriculture as well as natural resources: You can pursue a career in landscape design, crop consulting, education and more in this field.
• Humanities: The most derided field, but here you can develop your soft skills like creativity, leadership, critical thinking which will help you land a good job.
• Social sciences: The world is your oyster here, you can easily secure a job as a data analyst, salesperson, government economist and such.
• Communications: With a communication major you can go into writing, video editing, translating, public relations and more. This field is just so diverse and yet interconnected, it doesn’t put you into a box. The downside is that the salary is low, but you can notch it up with some experience under your belt.
While choosing a major, it is important to talk to people and gather as much information as you can regarding it so that you are armed with not just internal confidence but also have statistics and data to back that up. But always remember; no matter what, you can always change it.