Choosing a college major can be one of the hardest and most stressful events in your young adult life. Some people feel like they have known since they were 12... others will change their major 16 times in 4 years. Believe it or not, both of these are equally as common, and both are totally normal.
Regardless of what you think you know about your future career. It's hard to have a list of 30,000 jobs and 300 majors and front of you with someone basically saying "it's totally your choice just remember you'll spend the rest of your life doing it!" So, yes, picking a major is VERY stressful. As it should be!
However, regardless of if you're going into college, just started college, or well into college, let's breakdown the essentials to choosing the right major for you.
Do I need a minor?
No, technically you don't have to have a minor with every major. However, most people will suggest it. Even if there isn't really something else that will work or be needed alongside your major, a lot of people with minor in something similar or just something they like; such as, sales, marketing, communications, finance, real estate, psychology, art...etc.
How do I know what major to pick?
You won't. However, the best way to start is to take a process, make a list of things you love, or love to do, and a list of things you hate, or could never see yourself doing. From there, branch off of each interest or dislike and make lists of strengths and weaknesses to further eliminate. Finally, most colleges, as well as random websites VIA google, will have career quizzes that often use your interests, dislikes, as well as SAT, or ACT scores to further assist you.
How do I know how long I'll have to go to school for?
Every school and every job is different. Here are the basics(keep in mind, just because Google says you only need a bachelor does not always mean that applies to every job in that career)
- Associate Degree: Two years, arts or science, community colleges.
- Bachelor's Degree: Four years, most common, arts or science, four or five-year university
- Graduate Degree: After a bachelor's, Master, Ph.D., two to four years.
What's the best way to find my fit?
If you're already in college, the best way to find what interests you is by talking to other or older students, utilize advisors or take out there or interesting classes to see how they attract you.
Here are a few questions you could ask an advisor:
- What electives do you recommend?
- Is there any small credit courses I can take to see if I like this course?
- Is there any major map help?
What if I still don't know?
You TOTALLY don't need to! Most people entering and in college are 17-21 years old... deciding what to do for the rest of your life is scary, and you often stumble upon it unexpectedly... generally from taking a random gen-ed class or talking to a friend with a different major.
You can also always enter undecided, or as a business, major to have a fall back if you're truly unsure.
Remember: you should always have a few "backups" or "plan B's" in the back of your head in case something else doesn't work out. You can change your major as many times as you need, and college advisors will always be there to help and guide that decision.