What to Consider When Choosing a College Major

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Although you can get a job without a degree, you’re still better off getting one. It can increase your chances of getting employed in the company you want.

According to a recent study, degrees indicate that applicants have the fundamental skills for the job and are serious about getting a professional position. The paper, which surveyed over 500 recruiters and hiring managers in America, found that all the respondents believed that candidates with college degrees have more skills than those that don’t. One of them even said that college degrees are the default when it comes to choosing candidates.

It’s clear that a degree, whether it’s a traditional or an undergraduate degree course from the internet, is a must if you want to get your dream career. With all the majors to choose from, however, it can be difficult to find one that truly suits your needs and preferences.

Here are important factors to consider when choosing a college major.

Your Current Interests

The very first, and most important, factor you should consider when selecting your major is your personal interests. When you pick a major that suits your interests, studying it is much easier and more satisfying compared to the one that’s far from what you like. You’re spending a lot of time, money, and energy on your education, you might as well make it worthwhile and follow your dreams.

Your Aptitude

These days, it’s important to pick a highly-specialized major.

For example, if you’re into art, you need to focus on a specific medium. If you’re interested in traditional art, you may want to take up painting, sculpture, or drawing. If you’re leaning toward digital, multimedia, or graphic arts is the way to go. If you want to be a business major and you want a more analytical approach to it, accounting and business administration and management may be for you.

Looking for a more creative business career, consider taking up marketing or business communications.

Your Skills

Sometimes, what you’re good at isn’t always what you love — and that’s OK. If you’re alright with relegating your interests to hobbies, you can always prioritize your strengths when choosing your major. This way, your coursework, and your future job will come naturally to you. Who knows, you may come to love it, too.

two students studying

Your School

Your major is also determined by the school you’re going to. After all, even the largest ivy league schools offer a limited number of courses and specializations. It mostly depends on which factor is more important to you. If you want to prioritize going to the university of your dreams but don’t have your preferred major, look for a course that’s close to it.

You can choose from a variety of specializations, especially for business, art and medicine. Consider talking to a career counselor as well and start your college years undecided, taking subjects that offer knowledge and experience similar to your major. You don’t need to select a major until the end of your sophomore year, anyway.

If you’re going to prioritize your dream major, list down the universities that offer it. Narrow them down according to your budget, location, preferred amenities, and other relevant factors.

Your Expected Salary

Sadly, not all college majors are created equal. Some offer more earning potential than others. If this factor doesn’t matter to you as much, then you’re free to choose the course you want. If you want to be more practical with your major, however, you may want to consider taking one that pays big in the future.

According to PayScale, the highest-earning college majors (according to median annual salary) include:

  1. Petroleum engineering — $94,500
  2. Computer science and electrical engineering — $88,000
  3. Applied economics and management — $58,900
  4. Operations research — $77,900
  5. Political economy — $57,600

Going to college is one of the most important events in your life because it sets the foundation and trajectory of your lifelong career. As such, you should take decisions like choosing your major seriously. Consider these factors in your decision and you’re sure to study a course that you either love, are good at, or both.

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