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6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a College Major

Written by CB Community

The process of choosing a college degree is often very exciting, but in certain cases, it can also be quite overwhelming.

For that reason, and taking into account that this choice will have a great influence on your future, you must make sure that you do not decide on your degree impulsively, but quite the opposite.

It might be an easier choice for some who have known what they wanted to dedicate their lives to from a very young age, and have well-defined preferences.

However, you should also keep in mind that it is valid to have doubts since people have very varied tastes or abilities that can be quite useful for multiple academic areas.

Below you will find a list of 6 things to keep in mind before taking the big step:

1. Your Interests and Aptitude

Although this might be rather obvious, some individuals could end up in unfulfilling jobs simply because they didn’t choose the right degree major for them.

It is common to find people who are greatly influenced by what their parents think, by what their teachers say or even by what some friends decide to do with their lives.

Therefore, one of the first things you should do when you are about to enter college is to reflect on what you are passionate about. Perhaps you are considering a business major to get a better job, but you are passionate about history.

In that case, you’d be better served to get a history degree and pursue careers within that space than getting a generic degree or a degree in a field you’re uninterested in.

2. Your Values

Your values ​​establish the level of everything that you consider important. Some of them may have been instilled from home, others you acquired as you grew up and represent the foundation of who you are.

When choosing a major, you must take into account not only your skills but your values as well. This decision will allow you to access the type of work environment you want.

Perhaps you are thinking about becoming a lawyer but taking part in defending people, who might actually be guilty of some type of wrongdoing, may not line up with your values.

You could still find a job in the legal field in a different specialty like environmental law and choose a major in sustainability.

3. The College

Deciding on an educational institution to study a degree is possibly one of the most important decisions in a person’s life, and although there is a lot of literature that recommends a series of aspects to consider, choosing an academic institution will come down to the factors analyzed by students themselves when making that decision.

You should ask yourself if the college offers areas of study that you are interested in and if it counts with a stellar academic reputation in them. It is also important to know how highly ranked their programs and professors in the field are.

Having extracurricular activities such as special interest groups and clubs or projects related to your area of interest is another plus.

4. The Curriculum

It is advisable that you make a list of the universities that attract your attention, review the curriculum of each one in detail, and compare them. Make sure that the subjects are what you really expect and want to study.

There are universities that organize majors by emphasis, allowing you to focus on what you like the most.

It is important to evaluate how robust their complete curricula are and the type of internships they have, to know if you will get the opportunity to put everything you are learning into practice, whether working in the faculty or outside of it.

If an overall curriculum is weak or doesn’t cover certain subjects, it may hinder your career prospects.

5. Your Long-Term Career Plan

Choosing a career is a personal process that involves thinking ahead. Knowing what a major has to offer in the future will allow you to choose your vocational path with more confidence.

The key to achieving this is to think long-term, visualize the areas of opportunity objectively and distinguish which ones you want to venture into and those that are not so appealing to you.

You can analyze what kind of professionals will be needed tomorrow to make the best choice according to your possibilities and interests.

Many people change jobs or shift gears as their career progresses, give some thought to where you would like your career to go, and search for a major that may support that.

6. Career/Industry Trends

Life has changed faster than ever since the surfacing of new technologies, causing some jobs to go away, while others have been created.

Although the disappearance and appearance of professions could be seen as logical consequences of trends and social evolution, changes have been so sudden that they have allowed newer jobs and careers to have great futures.

It is important to do some research in relation to the outlook for the degree you are considering.

Knowing if a profession is declining or not and how its industry is estimated to perform in the next few years, is certainly a critical factor to consider when choosing a college major.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.