What do you want to do when you grow up? Your answer has probably changed quite a few times over the years. I wanted to be a firefighter, then sportscaster, photographer, and even psychologist. Now I am an Admissions Counselor and I LOVE it. As college preparation starts to intensify, it’s time to start thinking about what you want to major in. Luckily, you are currently reading the right blog post for just such a question!
Identify your interests. The first step is deciding what your interests are. I strongly suggest making a list of your top 5-10 interests. If you’re having a hard time narrowing or identifying your interests, think about what you like to do. Maybe you spend your days reading, or maybe you can’t get enough of the outdoors. Whatever you enjoy spending the majority of your time doing, those are your primary interests. Many career paths may even combine several of your interests. That is one reason why having a robust list of interests is key.
Find careers that support your interest. You will be tempted to go right from the interests list to picking your major, but hear me out! You want to do more than study something you enjoy during your time in college. You want to prepare yourself for a good career. Many people think, “Oh, I like art, so I’ll major in art!” Majoring in art is not a bad choice—not by a long shot. However, you want to explore what careers take advantage of your love for art, while also giving you solid job prospects. You might work for a marketing agency, design websites, or teach art. All three career paths I just listed prefer different majors. When you are looking for a future career that utilizes your interests, ask yourself these three questions:
- Would I enjoy doing the things this career demands?
- What does the job market look like for this career?
- Will this career allow me to accomplish my personal mission?
If you can answer “yes” to all three of those questions, you may have found a winner.
Find a major that supports your career goals. Now that you have figured out what you are interested in and found a career that will enable you to use your interests, it’s time to pick your major! There are two things you need to do in order to pick the major that will put you in a position to get the job you want.
- Do some good old fashioned internet research. Many articles have been written and continue to be written about how to get a job doing “x” or “y”. You can also look at websites dedicated to online resumes, such as LinkedIn. Take a look at profiles of individuals who have the job you want and see what they studied in school.
- Talk to people! Find current professionals in the fields you are interested in and ask them how they got there. It can also be extremely helpful to talk with professionals in hiring positions. This will give you an even better idea of what companies in your chosen field are currently looking for.
Once you have a grasp on what you need to study to get the career you want, you can feel confident in the major you choose.
If you follow the above steps, you’ll be on your way to making a well-thought-out, intelligent choice about your college major. In addition to those steps, remember to keep your Admissions Counselor in the loop. Your Admissions Counselor may be able to get you in contact with professors from different academic departments, further helping you to solidify your choice. Now get going and have fun! If done right, picking a major can be one of the most satisfying parts of the college preparation process.