One of the most difficult decisions you have to make as a student is what to major in during your college experience. At times, in a rush, students will declare a major, go through the required classes and even get a job to find out that they really don’t like it. So how do you prevent yourself from ending up there? In a job you hate? Here are 8 steps to help point you in the right direction.
- Ask yourself this question: What am I naturally good at? You may say, I’m really good at keeping my room clean. To the untrained eye, that may seem like a small trait while in reality, it’s a trait that unconsciously says, you are organized, disciplined and good at time management and would excel as a teacher. Or maybe you’re really good at soccer. Do some research, find jobs that integrate sports ability. You could get a career in urban development that helps establish soccer leagues for inner city children. Regardless of your answer, think beyond the obvious.
- What do I love doing? What makes me happy? If you love aviation, today it’s a fast track to a guaranteed job (probably before you finish school!). Most college students will find themselves seeking employment once they graduate, so why not something you enjoy?
- Take this quiz - this is not a magic genie quiz that will tell you exactly what you should major in, but it can help give you suggestions and possibly point you in a right direction.
- Write down a list of five five majors – three should be what you think you want to do, and the other two should be majors that could interest you. Once you write these down, do the next steps.
- Find people who actually do the job and interview them for each of the majors your wrote down. Find out what they like about their job, what they don’t as well as what they would have done differently.
- Do some research on your own. Find out how wage earnings (high/low), job satisfaction, job availability or even locations.
- Shadow someone in that line of work. I would suggest more than just a few hours. Do this for all five majors you initially wrote down. This will give you something to compare against.
- Sit down with a parent or a trusted mentor. Bring the information you’ve gathered and meet with someone you trust. I highly recommend not choosing a peer (someone a with a few years of your age in either direction), but select someone who will help you objectively look at your research and discuss with you what you’ve discovered.
Hopefully, once you have completed the eight steps, you will have a better understanding of what the perfect major would be for you as well as how to get into college. Keep in mind that a major can always be changed (there may be some time/money consequences), but it can be changed.