Having just finish my first degree, I think I can say I know a few things about choosing a college major.
First of all, I know what you’re thinking. It’s summer, you just graduated high school. You want to spend the summer having fun and not think about school.
When you’re in high school, you’ll say picking colleges is hard but choosing your major in college is even harder because it reflects what you are going to do in life. Choosing a major is tough. You may feel like you’ve hit a dead end. You might even be completely confused.
That is why I’m offering you some tips to help with picking majors. You can think about it while enjoying your summer.
TIP #1: NEVER EVER LET YOUR PARENTS OR ANYONE DECIDE YOUR COLLEGE MAJOR! Even if you have a long line of uncles, aunts, whatever practicing the same occupation for generation and your parents want you to carry on the family legacy, don’t let them decide. It’s your life, you get to decide, not your parents, friends, or relatives! Don’t make the same mistake I made!
In fact, I am sitting at home right now because of this. My mom pushed me into Civil Engineering after listening to her friend. Now, not only do I not have a job doing what I was trained for but I have to go back and get more education!
TIP #2: KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES WHEN DECIDING YOUR COLLEGE MAJOR! Nobody in the world knows you better than yourself, not even your identical twin. You know what you can and can’t do. So if you suck or don’t like math, don’t go for a career or major that involves a lot math! If you suck or don’t like to read and write, don’t go for something that is all about reading and writing! Pick according to your strengths and weakness!
TIP #3: IT IS BEST TO SOLIDIFY YOUR CHOICE EARLY! It all depends on what school you’re going to. At the university I just graduated from, we start taking pre-major courses in freshmen year and then squeeze the General Education (Gen Ed) courses at the end. Therefore, you kind of have to make your decision from the start.
In some schools, however, like the University of California I understand, you are required to complete all the Gen Ed courses in the first two years you enter college. Then you decide what you want to do in the third year. If that’s you, thumbs up, you have two more years but it’s still better to decide better you start. That way, you won’t be caught in a swamp of homework and exams when it is time.
TIP #4: IF YOU WANT TO GET OUT OF COLLEGE ON-TIME (4 – 5 YEARS), DO NOT SWITCH MAJOR AFTER YOU BEGIN TAKING MAJOR-LEVEL COURSES! If you need to switch major, do it at the beginning! Then you won’t need to retake your pre-major and intermediate courses and waste another two or three years of your life in college.
To be honest, when I was about to start my Junior year, after I entered major status, my mom wanted me to quit and pursue a degree in Accounting. That would mean I just wasted two years of my life for nothing.
You’ll say, well, right now, you’re pursuing a Masters in Accounting, wouldn’t switching majors three years ago been better?
ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! A Masters is much different than a Bachelors. A Masters degree means higher pay because employers often believe people with a Masters degree have more knowledge than the people with a Bachelor degree.
Well, is it true? It’s true and not true. It all depend on the individual and major. Did you pursue the same degree in the Masters program as you did in the Bachelors? What about experience? Have you done any internships? Do you fit the qualification and built they are asking for? Trust me, after job hunting for 3 years now and no luck, not even internship, I know a little something.
Follow your dreams. Do the thing you want to do in life. That is the way to get the most out of life!