College usually comes down to one question: What are you studying? While some go into college undecided or pick something just to change it to something else, everyone who is going to graduate must pick something. This is a big commitment, but if you are unsure of where to even begin, here are four big questions to ask yourself.
What Am I Good At?
A great place to start when considering a major is to consider your personal skills. For example, someone who is great at drawing could consider degrees in art, architecture, or industrial drawing. However, if someone tends to struggle with math, degrees in mathematics, physics, or engineering should probably be disregarded. While college is designed to be challenging, it is designed to accommodate your skills, not be an impossible obstacle. While only you can truly understand your skill set, some other skills can be addressed from tools such as the ones located on Jobmi, which will assess certain characteristics about yourself and recommend careers based on your results.
Is It Practical?
College can be a time of great enjoyment and great personal growth through interaction with faculty and other students, but it is also extremely expensive. You might need financial aide, but that can include student loans that you will have to pay back. Essentially, you could be going to school to get the degree to pay off your debts. Some degrees have almost become jokes among students and faculty alike due to the extremely low job market, such as philosophy and art history. The best resource to use when evaluating the practicality of your possible major is to first look through your college website to discover their career recommendations for the major. Next, check salary.com for the current examination of the range of salaries and wages within those areas on a national level. You can even use the site to narrow it down to a local level, so you can already plan what you may realistically make in a year after graduating college in the city you’ll be living in.
Do I Know Anyone In This Field?
If you now have an idea in mind about a major, but aren’t sure, check and see if there is anyone that you know who works in that field for advice. If you don’t know anyone, then a great first step would to be to take an introductory course in college. Most majors have a basic class that introduces the material in a professional setting, and some degrees make it a requirement to take. At that point, ask the professor if they see any talent in you or if they know someone that you should talk to. In fact, some professors are approached directly to send those who are interested their way in an attempt to give early work experience, even without a full degree. This could be an excellent way not just to get your foot in the door, but to realize if this is something that you could do everyday, which brings us to the final question.
Is it something I enjoy A LOT?
Some people are very passionate about a skill or interest that they have and could not see themselves doing anything else, but others tend to get worn down and disinterested after having to do it day after day. In picking a major, it is extremely important to find something that you cannot stop yourself from doing, no matter what the circumstance. A great way to really understand this concept is to watch a Ted talk by Scott Dinsmore entitled “How to find work you love.” This is a great thought piece to prevent going into a major and career that you turn out to not love.
Ultimately, it is up to you what you will major in college. As long as you have a balance of knowing what you can do and how you can get there along with the flexibility of being able to handle and incorporate whatever life has to offer then there can be a path to success. If you are still unsure about it, take some time to think deeply about it, or even for some further suggested reading, as Life Hacker has another article all about tips when approaching majors. However, advice can only go so far, but knowing the choice to make is the ultimate goal.