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Selecting a College Major

Written by CB Experts

One quarter to one half of college students change their major before their first year of college has ended. Now about a third of college graduates graduate with a double major, trying to make their choice of major count.

So, how does a studnet select a college major? Most select a college major with a job in mind, and with college costs what they are today, that job needs to pay. The highest-paying college major is petroleum engineering. The lowest-paying college major is childhood education.

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce analyzed 137 college majors. They found 25 of the highest-paying majors are in the STEM areas: science, technology, engineering, and math, with only economics and business economics as the exceptions.

However, salaries can differ for graduates in any major. For example, the top 25% of those with liberal arts/humanities degrees can earn more than the bottom 25% of those with engineering degrees.

So how does a college student select a major? There is no real answer, but here are some things to think about when selecting a major.
• Use your first year or two of college to explore different subject areas before selecting a major.
• Think about majors that have many course requisites. You may want to start taking some of these courses early on, even before declaring a major.
• Remember may successful people end up doing something in the workforce that has nothing to do with their majors.
• Employers don’t really care about an employee’s major as much as the skills they have.
• Consider selecting a mission instead of a major and taking courses to acquire the experience and skills needed for your mission.

About the author

CB Experts

Content created by retired College Admissions consultants.