Choosing a college major is a daunting task for every high school or college student. It seems that students are expected to know what they want to do with their lives at an earlier age than ever before. Combine this with a volatile job market and students are really feeling the pressure.
The reality is the majority of college students change their major at least once and many change their major several times during their educational journey. Moreover, many people wind up in career paths vastly different from their majors.
While it’s not necessary for students to select a major upon entering college, it can be helpful for them to do some career/major exploration beforehand. Here are some ways students can begin the discovery process:
- Take Career or Self-Assessments – There are a variety of assessments students can take to better define their interests, strengths, values and passions and see how those might translate into a fulfilling career. Many higher institutions also offer self-assessments and career counseling services.
- Do Some Career Exploration – It’s important for students to explore a variety of careers and the college majors with which they are associated. This exploration should involve research and job shadowing. Students can even take this one step further by volunteering or participating in an internship to get real-world experience.
- Take a Variety of Classes to Narrow the Options – College students are encouraged to take a wide variety of elective classes in their first year or two in order to narrow their options. It’s likely they’ve already discovered a field of study that excites them.
A certified college success coach, like Rebecca Carroll, can help when beginning the process of choosing a college major. Her passion is helping high school students start life in the right direction!