Choosing or changing your major is a big decision! Many students feel as though they are forming their professional lives by selecting a major, but the truth is that you can major in an academic area and not necessarily pursue that major as a career. Ask professionals you come in contact with what they majored in as college students and you will be surprised at how many professionals have pursued careers that are very different from their academic majors.
Choosing/changing majors requires you to think carefully about your interests, talents, abilities and values. Usually what you are good at (talent or natural inclination) is what you tend to be interested in. Think about the following:
- What do you enjoy doing? List hobbies or ways that you spend your free time.
- Think of the work, leisure and/or volunteer experiences you have had and which experiences did you find most satisfying?
- Think about your values? Do you want to make a lot of money (wealth)? Do you want a prestigious (power and influence) position where you are recognized for your professional abilities, such as a doctor, lawyer, pharmacist or a college professor? Do you want a position where you are able to make a difference in people’s lives, the community or the world (contribution)? These questions can help you think through some of your options.
Students choose majors for a variety of reasons to meet a variety of personal needs. Choosing your major will not keep you from pursuing any professional endeavor. Keep in mind that all industries have educational and training requirements and you may need additional course work or training if you choose a different career path. Almost every one of us will need to continue our educations regardless of the career path we choose. No one ever stops learning, whether in a formal classroom or on the job. Your college major and degree is a foundation from which you build your career. Choose a major where you will enjoy learning throughout your undergraduate college experience. Whether your academic major is broad or narrow, you can create opportunities to pursue a pleasurable work life.
“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”
Frank Lloyd Wright