If you’ve been asking yourself “What should I major in in college?” we’ve got the advice that you need.
The truth is that there’s no one foolproof method for how to choose a major in college. The most important thing is to figure out your own priorities and go from there.
Here are some factors you might want to consider when you go about choosing a college major:
- Your interests: what do you find enjoyable and interesting?
- Your abilities: what are you good at?
- Future employability: How easy (or hard) will it be for you to find a job?
- Future income potential: Are you aiming for a particular income bracket
- Particular career interests: Do you have a specific professional interest that requires particular coursework or a particular major, or do your career interests allow for more flexibility in your major?
Here are some things you can do while you are still in high school to prepare for choosing a college major:
- Start exploring majors early: use your free time, extracurriculars, and summer activities as a chance to explore subject areas you are interested in.
- Plan if you have a specific long-term goal: if you know you have a specific career goal, plan your major and program choice in advance.
- Select schools and programs wisely: if you are less sure of your major, look for more flexibility in declaring a major at your schools of choice.
And here’s how to pick a major in college in six steps:
- Find out your school’s process for declaring a major (and any deadlines!)
- Keep exploring potential majors and departments.
- Make your schedule multi-task by using requirements to investigate potential majors.
- Meet with advisors, current students, and alumni to get the scoop on the departments you are most interested in.
- Keep refining your priorities and doing research to make sure the majors that you are considering align with your goals.
- Be realistic about the downsides of potential majors—no major is all upside.