Episode 127: How to Choose a College Major

Episode 127: How to Choose a College Major

Date of Publication/发布日期
January 26, 2024
Iain McClinton
Files & media
Volume 4 2023-2024

Choosing a major can feel daunting, especially when a young person is still figuring out who they are. But remember, at this stage, it is okay not to have a rigid plan! College is a journey of exploration, and a college major can be the compass that guides the student.

Start With What Genuinely Sparks Your Interest

Instead of chasing a specific profession, students should think about what naturally grabs their attention. Do they get intrigued by scientific mysteries? Does history come alive for them? A major that ignites their curiosity is a major they will do well in.

Do not worry if your child’s interests evolve – what a student is curious about in grade 9 is not, and should not be, what they find interesting by grade 12. College is the perfect time for them to try new things and adjust their course choices as they grow and evolve. It is all part of discovering your passion.

Stay on track, but Embrace the Detours

Yes, a student’s choice of major influences their career options, but remember, it is not a life sentence. Many successful professionals did not start in their original fields. Focus on the undergraduate level should primarily be on building transferable skills – critical thinking, communication, problem-solving – that are valuable in ANY industry.

Most colleges in the US do not require a major declaration until sophomore year. Students should use this time to explore different areas and see what resonates with them. Even if they change paths later, the knowledge gained will still enrich their journey.

Beyond the Diploma

While salary and job outlook are important considerations, students should not let them be the sole drivers of choice. Pursuing a career that excites the student, aligns with their values, and fuels their growth is much more likely to lead to a profitable career than studying something that he/she does not enjoy. It is about finding work that he/she can be passionate about.

Research the time commitment and workload of different majors. Some require additional years of study or rigorous schedules.

Remember, this is a Personal Story

The choice of major is a chapter, not the entire book. It is about who a student thinks they are today and the possibilities that lie ahead. Embracing the adventure of discovery and trusting that your passions will guide you to where you are meant to be will make the chapter more enjoyable and fulfilling.

In summary, an emphasis on exploration, flexibility, and alignment with your passions and values will provide the best college undergraduate experience. I hope we have also highlighted the importance of transferable skills and personal growth regardless of the specific major.