One of the most important decisions in life is which career path to take, but the right way to decide on a major can be anything but obvious. Frankly, it takes time to understand all your options as well as your particular niche in the world. A good place to start is by thinking about all the different colleges within your university. For example, the liberal arts college, business college, natural science and mathematics college and communications college each have their own cultures and attractions. By understanding your university’s colleges, available majors and the various sectors of the economy, you can begin to see your place in the bigger picture.
Understanding What It Takes to Complete a Major
Most people think of careers in terms of the level of difficulty and amount of money they will earn. You also have to like the work you do, and for the vast majority of college students, the ideal career could be one of several choices. Only a few people know exactly what they want to do for a living from the time they’re children. These people don’t choose their careers based on salary, but they usually end up doing pretty well since they love their work. Most people need to figure out what they like doing and then narrow their choices down to the most likely options. Once they have a list of majors they think they will enjoy, they can start thinking about future salary and job prospects.
In general, the more difficult a major is, the higher the salary will be, but job prospects are not always good for the hardest majors. For example, most engineering careers are expected to have slow job growth over the next ten years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one exception is petroleum engineering, an extremely difficult and abstruse field of engineering that most people probably won’t enjoy. The professors in engineering courses typically weed out the students who might only be enrolled for a high-paying career. If you’re not a science person, you should probably cross any science or math majors off your list, because they get difficult during the third or fourth year. It’s not that they require very much cleverness; they just require you to dedicate every ounce of yourself to learning science and math.
Choosing the Major That’s Right for You
It’s not necessary to sample courses from each major to decide on your degree plan. You’ll waste time and money this way, and all you really need to do is imagine yourself in a career while learning about it by researching online or at the library. If you’re a creative person, consider majoring in fine arts rather than liberal arts. With art training, you can find steady, high-paying work as an artist, but with a liberal arts degree, you will almost certainly end up working in another field, such as business or hospitality.
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Choosing a major can be daunting, but in the end, it’s worth the time spent learning about yourself and understanding the demands of the economy. If it takes more than a year or so to decide on a major, take a break and stop spending money on courses until you know exactly what to do.