College Advice Blog

Mar 5, 2013

College Major: When to Switch and When to Stay

Choosing a college major is difficult enough, but what happens when you decide you want to switch to a new major? Finishing college with a specific degree might limit the possible jobs you can obtain. However, some majors allow for many different jobs and there's always a possibility of a double major. Here are five quick tips to help, if you're considering switching majors.

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Five Tips to Consider Before Changing your Major

1.  How Far Along Are You?

If you're only a year or so away from finishing your degree, it might not be wise to switch. However, you can always add an extra semester or summer school to double major. This can actually make you a more desirable candidate in some industries. For example, if you're currently enrolled in one of the schools for photography and considering switching your major to journalism, these fit together very well as a double major.

2.  Can you Afford to Switch?

Whether you're going to school with the help of grants, loans and scholarships or you're paying for it out of your own pocket, it's always important to look at your financial situation. If you won't be eligible for financial aid, after a certain point, you need to consider your options before switching majors.

3.  Avoid Looking at the Stats

Statistics showing how much certain degrees pay, once entering the job world, and how likely you will find a job with a certain degree, can be misleading. Lists, such as America's top paying professions, change on a regular basis. Today one profession may pay well, but tomorrow it could be another.  

4.  Consider your Passion and your Love

One of the most important things to consider when switching your college major is what you want to do with the rest of your life. What do you enjoy and what is your passion? If you're considering switching majors, it's usually a sign that your current major isn't something you really enjoy. Maybe you're majoring in business, when you really love teaching. Even though a business degree might land you a career with a larger salary, you will probably find more happiness at the head of the classroom.

5.  Find some Quiet

Often, students switch majors on the opinion or advice of parents, friends, boyfriends/girlfriends or other people in their lives. This is dangerous and even though you may trust the person giving you the advice, it's better to find some quiet time to think about it for yourself. This is ultimately your life and your decision. Don't switch majors because someone else thinks you should or you could look back with regrets later in life.

Going from one major to another may require more schooling, but it will be worth the extra time, if it leads to a satisfying career. Just make sure you're making the right decision for you and not for anybody else or strictly for a larger potential salary.

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