Deciding a major can be a daunting task for university students — especially for those who have yet to identify their own personal skills and interests.
In this article, I will share with your several factors that you should consider before deciding on your major.
If we are to ask big names, such Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, or Bobby Flay, what make them successful, most of them will answer, “I follow my passion.” Without a doubt, passion is one of the important keys in every successful action.
Therefore, for students who have to make the decision regarding their majors, they must be prepared to answer one of these questions.
- What do you enjoy study the most?
- Do you prefer to study biology or engineering? Taking cooking class or writing class?
- What are you passionate about?
- Are you passionate about medicine and health? Do you prefer engineering or computer? Do you enjoy cooking or playing sports?
- What do you want to contribute to the society?
- Do you want to find the cure for AIDS or build the highest building in the world? Do you want to cook delicious meals or entertain people?
- Can you see yourself doing something for the next twenty or thirty years?
- Can you imagine being happy working as a doctor or engineer or journalist or chef for the years to come?
Once you have the answers for the questions above, it will become much easier for you to make the decision.
For students who know what they want work as after graduation, you may select your major according to your chosen career. Although a major doesn’t necessarily dictate a job, it does help to ease and speed up the process of entering into your desired career path. For example, studying Biology, instead of computer network, can help you to enter medical school and assist you to become a doctor.
As a student, there are various sources available out there from which you can gain information and advice.
- Seek information from university website/catalogue – Identify the names of majors provided in your university by browsing through the website or programmes catalogues.
- Seek advice from academic counsellors – Seek advice from your academic counselor. He can help to shed some light on some of your questions and concerns.
- Seek online resources – There are several websites that can assist students in identifying and choosing their suitable majors such as MyMajors.com and CollegeBoard.com. MyMajors.com, for example, provides tools for students to do university life’s planning and to select majors.
Another way to decide on your major is by looking at your previous academic achievements. Based on your high-school results, you can identify what subjects you’re good at and what not. You may then choose the major based on those subjects. Try to consider challenging classes that you always looked forward to and performed really well.
Perhaps, you may also use the market demands as a guideline for you to choose the most suitable major. Do some market research and learn which career provides the best learning experience, monetary and personal values to you.
However, always remember to look beyond the current year and predict the market’s future for the next four years. This is due to the fact that the job you are looking at now might become obsolete at the time of your graduation. Such change is usually influenced by the economic transformations, emergence of new technologies, and ever-evolving industrial fields.
Look at the list of majors in your university and see what’s available for you to explore. Enroll to several beginner classes to get a taste of the major. Although this is not recommended to be done in a long run (to avoid waste of time!), it can help you to select the right major.
Do An Internship
For students who are already in the second year, you are highly encouraged to do an internship. The working experience gained from the internship can be used as a benchmark in your decision making. Consider the working experience (the workload, the difficulty, the fun and learning aspect of it) and use that to decide whether to proceed or to change your current major.
At the end of the day, it is really up to you to choose the most suitable major— after seeking advice from your parents, family members, friends, graduated seniors and counsellors. Try to make the decision as early as possible, as you don’t want to waste your time, wandering around without having a specific end goal.
Last but not least, listen to your heart and instinct and consider them in your decision making; that’s why you have them in the first place!
Photo Credit: Shutterstock