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How to Choose the Best Major In College

Updated on September 18, 2012

Attending college can be both a rewarding and fun experience. The lessons you learn there can set up for a lifetime of success or just the opposite. Careful thought process should be put into it and it shouldn't be taken lightly. Although I don't think that college is for everyone, I do believe that it gives you a slight advantage over other candidates in the job market. I went to a large four year institution thinking that I would get out and have this amazing career. Little did I know that there's more than meets the eye when it comes to college. It's not just about the college you attend or the GPA you finish with those things are important but it is more about coursework and your actual major that will make or break you in the real world.

When you think of choosing a major most people think "What do I like to do?" or "What do I dream of doing?" The questions that needs to be addressed are a little deeper than that. Choosing a college major should involve extensive research and a real look at what exactly you will be able to accomplish with what you have chosen. Sure exploring you dreams is fun but you have to remember one of the reason for attend a higher education institution is to make yourself more marketable in the workforce. I've listed some tips on what to take note of while exploring your options.

Research the current and future of the job market

The importance in this lies within the the sheer nature of do you want to be marketable right after you graduate and how far will a degree in that major will take you. When we talk about employment and job hunting you should be mindful of what jobs you see out there. What are they seeking in job a candidate the try to align yourself as much as possible with those characteristics, skills, experience and education

Pick a major that's both challenging and achievable

This requires a tad bit more than research. It requires an honest look at yourself and what you are capable of doing.For example, If you strong suite has not been math a major in something like engineering will be a big challenge. Not to say the task can't be accomplished but are you ready to take that on? At the same time you don't want to pick a major that seems significantly simple and you breeze through it unless you involve some curriculum structure that will enhance your skills in the job market. Once again, the focus here is making yourself an above average candidate.

Be realistic

Regardless of what subject matter you chose to get into be sure to set expectations for yourself. College learning take some a bit getting used to. Study habits must change and for some of us this may be the first time we've gotten close to failing a class. Some of us may not even complete the degree in the four year time frame. But let's get real here these days some of us have to forgo full-time college careers and have jobs and families.That doesn't make you a less than perfect part of the college student body. It's okay. As long as you've set some clear-cut goals for yourself and try you best to stick to them you should fair out well.

Talk to your professors

Instructors sometimes have experience in the field you maybe looking into and can offer some great insight into what day-to-day life is like for someone on that particular career path and help you explore whether or not the major will be conducive to what you are trying to achieve. Don't be afraid to to set meetings up with them during the semester to discuss things you have on your mind. Most would be glad to help and you'll also be making a great reference and/or networking contact.

Talk to current students and recent graduate

Speaking with current people who are more advanced in there major or recent grads can offer a grassroots look at what it will be like trying to find a job and whether or not you will need to seek a higher level degree to get the results you want. They can also offer tips on what classes to take and what best practices you can use to help you further your education and career.

All in all be sure the decision is one that is best for you. No one else has to live with it. I will say that the most rewarding careers are the ones that you never get tired of working on, the ones that there is always room for growth,and the ones you'd do even if you were not getting paid.


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