Picking a college major is a significant decision for a college student.
A major can open doorways into a lucrative profession and lead to a content career.
A college major thus needs to be selected with utmost sincerity. But this could get overwhelming at times, considering the number of factors that go into deciding which major to pick. According to a study, every 3 in 5 college students choose the wrong major.
Do you wish to choose the right college major in the first go?
Read on to learn how to choose the right major for you!
- What major should I choose in 2022?
- How do I shortlist top colleges that offer majors?
- What is the most useful major that can get you a job in 2022?
How Do I Decide What Major to Take?
Choosing a major, say finance, based on its economic advantage instead of your abilities, is easier. But is it really where your interests lie?
Whether you are confused about which major to choose or do not understand where your interests lie, we have framed a list of steps with questions that you can ask yourself to make the right choice.
What Should I Major In Step 1: List the Top Work Experiences
Do you have any previous work experience? Have you done any part-time or volunteer work? If you have, you can introspect to understand what your likes and dislikes are.
Ask yourself questions such as:
- What project(s) do you enjoy working on?
- What did you love the most about work?
- Which responsibilities were stressful for you?
- Would you like to work in the same industry?
- What would you like to change about work, if at all?
These questions reveal your inclinations and priorities- if you are focused on one industry or flexible about it, the work environment, and so on.
You could have many priorities. Say, if you are industry-focused, then it is logical to choose both major and electives suitable for it. For instance, if you wish to get into the food-processing industry, general agriculture, plant sciences, horticulture, etc, would be your choice of major. If a good work-life balance is your priority, then the hospitality industry would not be suitable for you.
Also Read: How do I put a double major on my resume?
What Should I Major In Step 2: Find Your Interests and Values
A simple way to judge if you are interested in something and value it is to see what captures your attention naturally. You could ask yourself questions about topics that you like to read, your hobbies, and activities you indulge in.
Does geopolitics interest you? Are you aware of the Sri Lankan crisis, or the Russia-Ukraine war? Do you like to trade stocks? Are you a follower of Warren Buffett?
If you are still confused about your interests, try this college major quiz and play the game, designed by the University of California, Berkeley:
- What should I major in Quiz - Explore your interests: Answer this questionnaire.
- The party game: Plan your future: Identify your group- realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, or conventional.
Although knowing your interests may not lead you to an obvious choice of major, it would be a positive step in that direction. You would also need to figure out if you can dwell on your interests daily subsequently.
To make things simpler, this is a list of 16 career clusters identified by the U.S. Department of Education that links interests with the respective job titles. Go through them to understand your possible choices.
What Should I Major In Step 3: Find out What You Are Good At
Being interested in something might not equate with being good at it! So, how do you judge if you are good at something?
One way to decide your major then is to look back at your academic records- high school grades, SAT scores, etc. This would help you in determining your strengths and weaknesses while helping you in choosing a major that suits your potential.
Choose a subject that you understand well and are academically good at!
Also Read: How to prepare for an interview in 2022?
What Should I Major In Step 4: List the Top Colleges That Offer the Major
If you are set on a specific major by now or weighing options, the next step is to list the top universities and colleges that offer your choice of major.
Go through the websites of top-ranking colleges and learn about their programs. Refer to U.S. News Rankings for information on the best colleges.
Determine the right college for you by asking questions as follows:
- Does the college have a reputation for the major?
- How rigorous is the coursework?
- Do they have capacity-constrained admissions(or do they place a cap on the number of students who can attend a class)?
- Is the faculty supportive?
- Can the major be switched?
- How connected is the college or university?
- Do the alumni have successful careers?
- Would I need an additional degree?
- Do they offer pre-placement assistance?
- Will the degree be relevant later in life?
Pro Tip: Create a score table based on your answers to these questions. For instance, if most of the alumni have successful careers, then rate the college as 10/10 in that aspect. Similarly, rate each college based on these factors (add more if you would like). This would help you narrow down your options.
What Should I Major In Step 5: Listen to Other's Advice
Now that you are done with your research, meet with the advisors and industry professionals. A survey reveals that 84% of the students who received advice from experienced people found it useful
Similarly, the college advisor would meet prospective students daily. They will provide a long-term view of the field. Ask them questions about how the industry has changed in the last 10 years or so. This would help you predict where the industry might be headed when you graduate and join the workforce.
You could also talk to students who have completed their first year of college. They would give you insights into the classroom environment, coursework, peers, and exams. Try reading the coursework to see if it interests you.
Arrive at a decision by contemplating the advice from everyone!
Also Read: How to make a resume that can land you your dream job?
What Is the Best Field to Get a Major In 2022?
Now that you know the steps to take while deciding on your major, go through this list of useful majors (that come with a promise of stability) in 2022:
- Computer Science
- Computer Engineering
- Software Engineering
- Applied Mathematics
- Political Science
- Biomedical Engineering
‘What should I major in?’ is a question that many students ask. Picking a major is the most important decision in their college life. If done correctly, it leads to a promising career.
- Begin with looking back at your work experience. List your likes and dislikes about work.
- Figure out your interests and values to choose a major of your liking.
- Find out if you are good at the subjects you are interested in by looking at academic scores.
- List down the top colleges and universities that offer your choice of major and go through their programs.
- Talk to the college advisors, industry professionals, and your peers to arrive at a decision.
- Computer science, mathematics, and economics are the best majors to choose in 2022.
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