Deciding on a career is something that haunts and causes anxiety for a large portion of graduating high schoolers and college freshman.
College is a big investment of time and money, so the experience needs to be worth the investment.
Here are five tricks and tips to help you pick the right major.
Wait Until You Get to College
The economy is on an upswing, and there is no denying it. It favors the careers of the blue collar workers mostly right now, but it is improving for all fields. There used to be abysmal levels of unemployment for college graduates that weighed heavily on the minds of students before they even attended their first class.
Students should not let this affect their decision making as long as it is a school with a high employment rate after graduation like Independence University. Also, students should give themselves plenty of time to try several different classes in different fields in their first year. A college with a high employment rate after graduation and experimenting with a variety of academics will greatly assist them in finding the right major and career.
Do Not Take Too Long to Decide
Even though college officials generally all agree that students should have some college experience before taking the plunge into a dedicated major, they can’t take too much time without deep pockets. If it is taking longer than expected, but there are choices, then taking the choice that has the highest employment and salary opportunities is smart, especially if you are leaning towards it anyways.
Curiosity Is Free
Students and any parents paying for their kids’ college should hammer prospective colleges with questions about majors, especially the ones the students are leaning towards. It is a good idea to meet with the people in the career services departments to gather as much info as possible.
Ask if there are assessment tools or tests that can assist in finding a major that will result in a happy career and one with enough money to at least make the monthly loan payments because you will be leaving school with a huge debt to pay. According to USA Today, the average student loan debt for 68 percent of people graduating with a bachelor’s degree was $30,100 in 2015.
Make Sure You Are Passionate about It
After students have been able to explore themselves and their interests as underclassmen, as well as exploring and learning about fields of study, it is likely they have found something they are passionate about for a career. Many advisors say the fear of where this new path will lead and uncertainty about long-term wealth are factors that will not matter in the grand scheme of things, so they believe you should pursue the thing they are most passionate about even if it involves a lot of financial danger. In other words, figuring out a major is a lot like deciding to marry for love.
Self-Awareness about Exceptions to All the Advice above and Preparing Early
There are certain careers and college majors that need fast decisions due to the amount of time and commitment required to attain them. For example, students thinking of medical school need to know ahead of time. Other fields like nursing or engineering mandate immersing yourself into the field right away, so for careers where your most of your early adult life will be spent learning and training, the best way to pick a major is using advisors in high school and working as hard as if it is college.
Interviewing people in a field where you really should know before dabbling in college helps with the decision, and it would help people picking a less serious major too. You need to know if they are happy, would change anything or if the career has caused them trouble forming relationships and mental or physical health problems.
Some of the tricks above built on each other, while others seemed to disregard financial advice in favor of happiness. Also, there are college majors that require planning and a decision long before arriving at college.
All of the tricks and tips are useful in deciding your major, but none of them are perfect. You might need to use a couple of them or compromise on happiness and money. Whatever you decide to do, this is one of the biggest investments of time and money that you’ll make in your lifetime so take it seriously, and remember, you are there to learn and prepare for adulthood.
- Brian Harris
- CGS Communications Inc.
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