Maybe you’re a high school senior trying to make a plan for the future. Maybe you’re a college student who is running out of time to declare. Whatever your reasons for getting serious about your choice in majors, here are just four tips for making the right decision about your education and career.
1. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
What are your skills? What are your flaws? Be honest. This isn’t a job interview where you need to soften the bad parts of yourself. If you know in your heart that you’re terrible at dealing with customers, you shouldn’t choose a major with a people-pleasing component. If it takes you twice as long to finish your math homework as your literature homework, don’t go into a number-oriented field. Base your future around your talents for the best chance of success.
2. Look at the Programs Offered At Your School
Let’s say that you want to obtain a computer science degree in Texas. Which schools offer the best STEM classes? Which have the most affordable tuition? Where are the most qualified professors? It isn’t enough to choose a good school in general; you’ll want one with a good degree program for your specific passion. For example, if you really want that computer science degree, you might consider a school like Texas A&M University-Commerce.
3. Take a Tour of Campus
You won’t know what a school is really like until you walk the campus for yourself. Photographs can be edited; videos can be taken at opportunistic times. To truly get a sense of the day-to-day atmosphere and how it might affect your decision about your major, you’ll need to drop by classrooms, cafeterias, libraries and study halls to explore them on your own. Take a note of things like cleanliness and noise levels. Try to envision yourself as a student using those facilities.
4. Consider the Future
What doors will you open with your major? What jobs and internships can you get with your degree? What’s the five-year growth rate for your industry? Are jobs increasing or decreasing? What’s the average salary? Can you get a minor in something that will offer a bigger payday down the road? These are all important questions to ask before you actually sign on the dotted line about your major, so don’t be shy about asking your advisor or guidance counselor for help. They should be able to assist you with the research.
These are just a few tips for choosing your major. It’s a big decision, so it shouldn’t be made lightly. Take your time, consider all of your options and review these suggestions before committing to a particular path.