College Advice Blog

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Jul 22, 2010

How to Choose a College Major

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How to Choose a College Major, revised and updated editionHigh school graduates and college students have a hard time deciding what major to pursue in college. Granted it isn’t an easy decision to make, but I think with the advice below the decision might become a little easier to make.

I think students who have no clue what major to choose in college should study liberal arts. Liberal arts courses will allow you to learn about a variety of topics and subjects. I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do when I started college, but I had education in mind. Even though, I still started my associate in Liberal arts. It turned out to be a very amazing experience as I got to explore many topics in and out of class.

The disadvantage to this is that some credits will not transfer if they are not relevant to your major. Still, most credits will be taken in as at least elective credits. Out of my 72 or so credits in liberal arts at least 66 transferred into my bachelor's degree. Remember, a few credits lost are worth it in the long run because at least you won’t be deciding after four years of studying that you want to study something else. Liberal arts will give you a chance to broaden your horizons so to speak.

Internships
You can also help yourself even further in choosing a college major by getting as many hands-on experiences as you can in the first few semesters of college. I did about 30 hours of classroom observations in my first semester and it was enough to let me know that education was not my field. I still would love to teach somewhere down the road, but as a side job, not as my main profession.

Read!
Guide to College Majors, 2009 Edition (College Admissions Guides)To choose a college major, you need to read, read, and do more reading on your fields of interest. It’s okay to have more than one field of interest at first; you will narrow it down as you go along. However, if you still can’t narrow things down by the time you go for your bachelors (assuming you did AA separate), then it’s okay to have a double major. Or you can have a major and a minor. As long as you can handle the work, then it’s fine. However, remember reading will give you a great deal of information on the fields you are considering.

Ask People in Different Fields
You need to ask people about their experiences when choosing a college major. You would be surprised at how much people know and how much you will learn from their experiences. You don’t necessarily have to follow their advice, but listen to what they have to say and consider it.

Again, Internships are Crucial!
Finally, you need to realize that you have to really experience a lot of professions within internships, research, volunteer work, etc. before you can determine what career is right for you. Experimentation in different fields will help make the path in choosing a major much more clear.

*I would like to add that although I had a bumpy road and I took liberal arts for two years, it wasn't a waste of my time and it didn't slow me down. Rather, I completed my associate's and bachelor's in three years and three months.

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