Selecting the perfect major

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Andrew D. Bartholet
CONTRIBUTOR

The selection of a major is one of the most difficult things to get through when first starting college, and there are a lot of misconceptions on what a major should be and how it should be selected.

First off, students who pick a major that sounds closest to the career they have in mind do so for the wrong reasons. I am entering my third year in college, and my career ambitions now are way different from what they were when I was a freshman.

While there are some students who stick with their original plan all the way through college, it is overwhelmingly common for students to change their major as they figure out what they really want to do. Students should pick majors that align well with their relevant passions, because passions do not really change like career interests do.

For example, a student who is passionate about art and language and who wishes to work in a business setting should pick language as his or her major. It is much easier for a linguist to find a job in business than an artist. Furthermore, it is easy for someone who is passionate about language to study language, and, perhaps, less easy for someone who is not passionate about “hard business” to study business administration.

An interesting fact about majors that many students overlook is that it is possible to get into various fields with many different degrees. Not all doctors majored in pre-med; many of them studied biology, chemistry, physics, engineering and other majors. Many times, pre-meds make up fewer MD students than other majors. In business industries, employers look for talented individuals who can offer diverse skills that come
from many areas outside of business administration and other “hard business” majors.

While there are many good specific majors out there, know that they are not the only way to specific career goals. Students will be much more motivated and enjoy greater success in school if they follow their passions. When students try and match the major to the job, they limit themselves and fail to discover new careers that they may have overlooked

College is a place to figure out what you want to do. No one is expected to know their future career when they enter college.

If you find early on that your major is not right for you, you should change it as soon as possible to avoid wasting too much money and time on unneeded classes. College is expensive, and while we are here to figure it out, we must also be diligent and efficient in our work. I changed my major twice in my first two years of school, and I was not put behind at all. If I decided to change my major now, I might have more difficulty finishing in a reasonable amount of time. I have no need to change my major again because I kept an open mind and followed my passions. I wish you all the same success.

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