3 Things You Should Consider Before Picking a Major
One of the most major concerns for high school graduates is knowing what they’re going to choose as a major in college. While choosing what will possibly be your career for the rest of your life can seem daunting, there are some questions anyone can ask to determine which degree paths fit their life goals. Here are three things every high school graduate should consider before picking a major.
We tend to do well in jobs that complement our natural talents and abilities. You can certainly do better by studying, practicing and working. However, if you don’t have the personality or talent for a profession, don’t pick that major. If you struggle with the material now, it isn’t the right career path for you.
We’re not going to tell you to “follow your passion” and pick a major based on that. If you like something and you’re good at it, you’ll enjoy it. However, if you hate it, no matter how good you are at it, you won’t do it well – and that hurts you. Always remember that tong-term interests and goals are more important than blindly following a passion.
We go to college to learn skills, gain knowledge, and earn a certification associated with a particular job field. Look at the return on the investment – how much you’d have to pay for the degree relative to what you’d earn when you graduate. It may be reasonable to go $100,000 in debt to earn a degree that pays well, preferably with a high salary. Conversely, it is irrational to go $100,000 in debt to earn a degree that may or may not let you earn $30,000. Explore a variety of ways you could monetize your talents and interests. If you want to earn a literature or creative writing degree because you love reading and writing, consider the steps necessary to become an English teacher if you can’t earn a living as a writer.
A pre-professional major plus another major could give you a bachelor’s degree that lets you find a decent paying job even if you don’t get into grad school. For example, a pre-law major could double in economics or politics. A pre-med major could earn a degree in chemistry or biology. If you don’t get into med-school, you didn’t waste your time. The cost of a couple extra classes could be seen as risk management, ensuring the cost of your time in college isn’t wasted if you can’t go any further.
Before you select a major, Cielo Gonzalez Villa recommends that you understand the path you have to take to get there. If you have your heart set on a particular major, consider which schools have that program and a good reputation, too. Take the time to look at the quality of the program. What is their reputation regarding employment rates for their graduates? If you’d be going on to law school or med school, what percentage of their students pass the entrance exam?