Choosing a major is no easy task. What you choose to study and major in will lead you towards potential career prospects and shape your future, so you need to ensure you are choosing a degree that focuses on what you love and can help land you your dream job after graduation. Unsure on how to choose the best degree for you? Here’s the definitive guide to help you choose.
What are Your Abilities?
Everyone is naturally talented at something, whether it be a sport or an academic subject. Knowing your abilities and natural talents can help you decide what you wish to pursue academically and point you in the right decision when it comes to focusing on a career.
Take a moment and think about your current academic prowess. Do you seem to get exceptional grades in maths and science? Or perhaps you’re a wordsmith and pass English literature with flying colors. While you may not want to earn a degree in English Literature, your flair for the written word could be the starting point in deciding the degree you want to study as well as where you go to study.
If you are not sure about your abilities within a subject, ask your friends and family. They may have noticed that you are very good at mental arithmetic. You should also ask your teachers for advice, too. They can help highlight your natural talents and show you proof from coursework and classroom participation.
What Are Your Interests?
We all have interests, and for some of us, these interests align with our talents. If this is the case, then finding a degree that helps us build on our abilities so that we can land a job in our interested field can be the ultimate dream.
Firstly, sit down and make a list of your interests. This may be as long or as short as you wish but remember that a long list can make it more difficult when settling on the main interest you wish to pursue at college. For instance, you may find that you absolutely love Renaissance painters. If so, you could always major in art history.
Once you have a list of interests, look up majors that align with them as well as career prospects those majors offer. If you are interested in art and considering majoring in art history, then your career prospects are, of course, going to be focused on art. For example, traditional careers you could aim for with a degree in art history include becoming a curator, a teacher, museum director, and art publisher. This major is very specific, but if your dream job is to become a curator, then it could be the degree for you.
Do You Have Any Passions?
If you are not passionate about a degree, then finding the motivation to complete coursework and attend classes is going to be much more difficult. Choose a degree you care about and that you are excited to learn more about so that you have the drive to keep going and keep learning. Of course, passions and interests change, but we will typically have one main passion that never leaves us. For instance, if you are passionate about writing, then a degree in creative writing could be perfect for you.
Where Would You Like to Study?
Once you know what you want to major in, you will need to decide where you major. College curriculums will vary, so be sure to research the best colleges and universities for your specific major of choice. Certain academic institutions will offer a more intensive learning experience, whereas others may be more relaxed and allow students a sense of free will.
The world is your oyster when it comes to studying. You no longer have to stay within your state or even your country. Rather, you could apply to study abroad in Europe or Australia for a whole new experience if they offer the major that interests you.
What Are Your Career Aspirations?
Do you have a career in mind? If so, then you will need to work backward and find out which degree is going to help you land your dream job. You may find that there are many steps you need to take while doing this, such as majoring in one subject and then graduating with a masters. Knowing the exact credentials and steps to take can prepare you, which can be beneficial for more complicated careers such as forensics.
Is Your Major Employable?
This simply means, will you be able to find a job once you have graduated? The last thing you want is to find yourself unemployable because finding employment in a field related to your degree is non-existent or too competitive. You can lessen the chances of being unemployable by studying a broader field of study with more career prospects at the end of it.
How Will You Study for the Degree?
Are you hoping to study online? If so, you will want to choose a degree that allows you to study from the comfort of your own home. While most if not all degree types can now be attained online, you will want to research the right online university for you and the requirements needed.
Certain fields will require study in a physical environment such as healthcare. While an online degree in healthcare can give you the foundations you will need, if you wish to become a physician, nurse, or surgeon, you will need to undergo a residency and work directly in a healthcare environment to expand your knowledge.
Can You Study for an MBA Afterwards?
Certain degrees will allow you to pursue further education such as an MBA, and an MBA is a great opportunity to finetune your business skills and ready you for the business world. However, if you wish to study for an MBA after you have graduated college, you will need to ensure you can apply for an MBA, but also know which MBA program is right for you.
When it comes to looking for the right MBA for you, you will need to consider the reputation of the course, the quality of the curriculum, and whether it will present you with ample opportunity through networking and building long-lasting connections. You will also want to decide whether you wish to study within a traditional university environment or would prefer online classes. Still unsure on how to choose the right MBA program for you?Click here for more information.
The benefits of an MBA are plentiful. Therefore, if you are hoping to start your own business or wish to land a valuable job within a lucrative company, an MBA can make you much more hireable. Common jobs for MBA graduates include:
- Health services manager
- Marketing manager
- Investment fund manager
- Business operations manager
There is no rush when it comes to deciding on what you wish to major in or the college you want to attend. You could always take a year out and travel when deciding where and what you want to study, or if you are unsure of the industry you want to work in, you could work for a year and see if it a career you want to pursue with your degree.
When deciding which university you want to attend, try and visit as many campuses as possible. They have open days throughout the year and many schools will allow students to take time off visiting a college they are interested in so that they can see whether the location, facilities, and courses suit them. Once you have visited the colleges that interest you and you have information on courses that caught your fancy, make a pros and cons list so that you can make an informed decision.
Meet Up with Advisors
College advisors are there to help students decide on their next steps. You may find that your high school has a college advisor, and if so, make sure to book an appointment with them so that you can discuss your career prospects and your current grades. They will be able to advise you on whether you could apply for universities you had never considered before or whether you are trying to achieve too much with your current grades. They will also have knowledge of specific universities and could help draw up a map on how you can get the grades needed and impress college admissions.
Universities will usually have their own advisors. So, if you know which college you wish to attend, you could contact them for a conversation on which major may be best for you.
Discuss with Friends and Family
Friends and family may not be able to offer you much in-depth information on specific colleges, universities, and curriculums, but they are there to listen to you. You will most likely find that your peers at high school are going through a similar experience as you when deciding which major they wish to choose; they may also be able to offer you advice on how to choose the right major for you. However, do not let their opinions on specific colleges and majors sway you too much. At the end of the day, it is your decision, not theirs.
Deciding on which major is right for you can be stressful. After all, college is expensive and time-consuming. Be sure to take your interests, talents, and passions into consideration when deciding. If you are unable to reach a decision, remember that you can always defer a year.