I am a Student: How do I Choose the Major I Love for College?

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You are now sixty years old, and you just realized you spent the last forty years of your life working in a career you do not love.

Every student’s nightmare…

Choosing the right major can feel like a daunting decision.

That’s why I went out on the Internet, asked as many people and professionals as I can about choosing the right major, and came up with a list of the top eight best DOs for you to find the career of your dreams.

Now attack that career pathing with all you got!

how do i know my dream career
how do i know my dream career

Ask Yourself the Three Vital Questions

You better be ready, because you need to do lots of self-reflection and analysis in the process.

Matt Warzel, President of MJW Careers LLC, advises you, students, to internalize.

Internalize what your passions are, and what transferable skills are within your hand.

Determine what type of instruction you may need to grow best, what opportunities in school are there to upskill and offer more worth to future employers, etc.

To put that more into practice, you must follow what Alison Hamar from Transizion.com’s Leadership Team suggests: There are three essential questions you need to start with.

  • What do I enjoy doing or am naturally passionate about? 
  • What will people pay me for? 
  • What are my natural talents? 

Once you ask these three questions, you can identify important components of your major identification.

If you find something that fits into all three categories, chances are you have found a potential major/career!

Want to narrow things down even more?

If you want to narrow down your questions even more, bring them down to your day-to-day tasks.

Some questions as such, as Founder & CEO of Mavens & Moguls Paige Arnof-Fenn says, are:

  • What types of classes are my favorite?
  • Which homework is fun and makes me lose track of time?
  • Do I like working solo in school or in team projects?

From another perspective, Finance Expert Andrew Lokenauth from Befluentinfinance emphasizes that self-exploration is helpful to determine strengths, interests, and values.

And for that to be done, you need to do the effort YOURSELF to check in with what your heart wishes and what your mind and hands are capable of.

three essential questions
three essential questions

Envision Yourself and Your Job

More and more self-reflection, my friends.

After you do the mental check-in and assessment, you now need to think about the long game.

For that, Matt Warzel continues to suggest you have a vision of your dream job in four or five years.

What’s important to you? Time, money, culture, location, product offerings, company image, values, progressive versus traditional setting, remote versus on-location, passionate project opportunities, etc.

A good rule of thumb for the student is to reverse engineer your career path from your ideal job and then start to build the blocks of the path that will guide you into that profession.

Things the way they are…

In fact, Jon Hill, CEO and Chairman of The Energists tells you things exactly as they are: 

When you’re still a teenager, you may not even know about the career path that will be your passion yet.

So don’t try to force it. 

Instead, think about the more mundane, day-to-day aspect of the future.

What can you see yourself doing for 8 hours every day? What type of environment do you enjoy being in? What types of things do you choose to do during your free time?

The answers to those questions can give tons of ideas on the areas you should direct your attention to.

envision your job
envision your job

Talk to Friends and Professionals

Enough self-analysis, let’s get to action.

There is a quote that says “If nobody asked questions, then we would never learn anything.”

After self-questioning, the first step to getting to know your career passion is to ask questions about it!

As simple as that.

The Founder of Cognomovement Bill McKenna hints that it can be super helpful for students to talk to friends, family, and professionals in fields they are interested in about their career thoughts and options,  hence getting a better understanding of what a career in that field might be like.

A key tip for Andrew Lokenauth recommends is to take advantage of the resources available to students on campus, such as career centers and academic advisors.

These professionals can provide valuable guidance and support as students navigate their academic and career paths.

Bonus tip?

Never forget to talk to students who are already in the major.

This will clearly show you what courses you’ll be taking and what career opportunities could follow after graduation.

talk to friends and professionals
talk to friends and professionals

Take Risks and Explore

Students need to keep an open mind and be willing to take risks and try new things.

By exploring a wide range of options, students can gain a better understanding of what truly excites and interests them.

How can I try new things at my age?

Davin Joseph, the CEO of My Enamel Pins, gives you examples.

You can start by

  • trying all types of different activities
  • taking classes in fields that may interest you
  • attending events related to potential majors

Don’t limit yourself by what you think is “right” or “wrong” – just explore!

More and more ideas come from Chinmay Daflapurkar, Digital Marketing Associate of  Arista Systems:

  • Participate in clubs and organizations related to your interests
  • Complete internships revolving around your potential careers.

This will allow you to gain practical experience and make connections in the field, he says.

explore take risks 2
explore take risks

Take as Many Courses as You Can

You’re already in college?

It’s never late to start exploring…

If you have already enrolled in college and started your studies, Antonio Cruz, a mentor with Ivy Scholars advises you of the following:

Spend your first year of college taking as many required courses as possible.

Most universities have graduation requirements; courses that all students must take to graduate. 

These usually encompass a broad variety of topics and have the intention of giving students a broad knowledge base to work from.

According to Cruz, by experimenting through these required courses, students can get a touchable sense of what they like (and what they don’t)! 

take many courses
take many courses

Say NO to Peer Pressure and Society’s Expectations

It’s your choice, YOURS alone.

Students must realize that when they chose a major and then a career, they are likely to continue doing it for the next forty+ years.

If you’re stuck with something this long, you need to like it.

In this sense, Writer, Poet, and Educator Janet Ruth Heller points out that students should avoid pressure from parents or friends to choose a career.

She also shares her experience!

She says: “My parents pressured me to become a lawyer or doctor, but I wanted to teach literature, creative writing, composition, etc.

“I taught college English and women’s studies classes, and I do not think that I would have been equally happy in law or medicine.”

Be honest with yourself about whether you are considering (or not considering) certain career paths because they do not align with your family’s expectations!

say no to peer pressure
say no to peer pressure

It’s Okay to Switch or Lose Time!

Rule of thumb: Don’t rush into a hasty decision.

Don’t feel you ran out of time, and don’t be afraid to change your mind.

It’s okay if your interests or goals change as you learn more about yourself and the different options available to you. Don’t feel like you have to stick with a major or career path just because you started it.

As Marketing Manager Hellovein.com Kreisel Jaquish puts into words “Don’t be afraid to change – if you have already chosen a major and are feeling unsure, that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.”

Ashley Dannelly from ExpertInsuranceReviews.com even suggests you can take a year between high school and college, find a job, and accordingly consider what you want to do for a career in your future!

its okay to switch or lose time
its okay to switch or lose time

Career Counseling Services Always Give a Hand

Still do not know where to start?

You can walk the easy path!

There are many psychologists, specialists, mentors, and professionals who work in the field of career counseling.  They can give great advice after evaluating and chatting with clients.

A solid example can be Mastersportal, a website that provides a variety of resources and information for students who are considering pursuing a Master’s degree, helping students who are trying to compare different programs make an informed decision about their academic path.

Final thoughts…

You all need to realize that passion for a field of study isn’t a prerequisite for a successful career, as mentioned by Jon Hill from The Energists.

Some people know what they love when they’re still in high school, but others discover that in the course of college, or even after they’re already in the workforce.

I hope these tips have given you insights and helped you start looking for your dream career the right way.

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