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How to Pick a College Major: 3 Simple Questions

Updated on February 24, 2015
picking a college major can seem tough
picking a college major can seem tough | Source

Choosing a Major in College

For some people, the hardest part of college is getting into the one they want. For other people, the hardest part is going to class and doing the homework. But for some, the hardest part of college is actually picking what to major in.

If you are having a hard time picking your college major, don’t worry! It is not as hard as it seems, and this article will help you along that path. So if you are trying to figure out what major to pick in college, keep reading, because this is written for you!

Choosing a college major can be difficult and confusing; I would know because I’ve been there! When I started college, I had almost no idea what I wanted to major in! But I asked myself a few questions and slowly narrowed down my search of what I wanted to major in.

The three questions you should ask yourself are:

  • What Do I Like to Do?
  • What Do I Want to Do?
  • What Am I Good At?

Let’s look at each question a little bit more to help determine a college major.

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What Do I Like to Do?

Ask yourself this question, and think of activities you enjoy doing. Maybe sports, video games, artwork, design, meeting new people or whatever. Now that you have some activities in mind, try to think about WHY you like to do those things.

For me, I love playing soccer, and the reason why is because I am a competitive person, so I like competition. So that made me look for college majors in competitive fields.

Once you have a few answers and ideas to this question, continue to question two.

What Do I Want to Do?

This is important because for some people, they already have an idea of what they want to do in the future. So if your family runs a business, and you are planning to join it, consider a business or other related college degree.

If you have other ideas that don’t necessarily fit with any specific college major, then ask the why question again, why do I want to do what I want to do?

If you still are unsure about what you want to do, that’s OK! Continue to question three for the last question in picking a college major.

Choosing the Right College Major can make a huge difference
Choosing the Right College Major can make a huge difference | Source

What Am I Good At?

After the first two questions, you should have some ideas of what you like to do, and maybe what you want to do, but now ask yourself what you are good at. Are you creative and imaginative or direct and efficient? Do you evaluate people easily or are you successful at being heard by others.

Now use these three questions to connect the dots between what you like to do, what you want to do, and what you are good at. Don’t expect to find a specific college major from this, but it might help narrow your search.

In my case, after asking myself these questions over and over again, I determined I was a self motivated competitive person who wanted and enjoyed creating things and making money and I was good at being consistent, efficient and thorough. I took a business class and I enjoyed it and found it fascinating, I later took a class in marketing, and voila! I had chosen my college major.

Not everyone will have as easy a time as I did in picking a college major (some will have it easier!), but keep thinking about it and if you ask yourself these questions, you should be well on your way to picking a major in college.

Bonus Tips to Help You Pick Your College Major:

If you are already in college and don’t know what to major in, try taking a WIDE variety of classes. This is what helped me narrow my college major search to business, and later marketing. Try a class in History, then a foreign language. Try business and communications. Look for classes that grab your interest, and then go with them. Just make sure these classes will count towards your as of yet undecided major if you are concerned about that. At my school, each student is required to take a certain number of electives and classes on other topics, so in my first year of school I took mostly these types of classes to help figure out what to major in.

Finally, three more tips to help you Pick a College Major:

Ask your family and friends – ask the people who know you what they think you might enjoy or be good at. Their answers might surprise you a lot, but they can also help.

Ask your advisor – yep, your advisor can help! So get to know your college advisor, and ask them for advice and tips on how to pick a college major. They should know, they deal with it every year!

Take a college major assessment test – there are college major tests available both online, and possibly at your school. Try asking your adviser about it or look up college assessment tests online.

I hope this information will help in choosing a college major. If you have more questions, leave a comment!


Submit a Comment

  • internpete profile image

    Peter V 5 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

    Thanks Deb! It can be a challenge to figure out a college major!

  • profile image

    Deb Welch 5 years ago

    Three important questions. Great Hub - Useful and Interesting. UP.

  • internpete profile image

    Peter V 5 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

    Beth J - happy to help! Hope you can get a better idea of what to major in! Remember, it's better to change majors a few times and end up with the right one than stick it out and graduate with something you don't like!

  • internpete profile image

    Peter V 5 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

    kburns421 - Great point. These might be good questions to periodically ask oneself to make sure your doing what you want to be doing. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • kburns421 profile image

    kburns421 5 years ago

    I could've used this a couple years ago. I had the HARDEST time trying to pick a major. This advice is still applicable though because your degree doesn't necessarily dictate what you end up doing.

  • internpete profile image

    Peter V 5 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

    Dwachira - Yeah, I was faced with this same dilemma too! I hope this can help others, because it can be frustrating when all your friends seem to have their whole lives planned out, and you can't even pick a college major! Thanks commenting and sharing!

  • dwachira profile image

    [ Danson Wachira ] 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

    I find most of my students being faced with these dilemma. These tips will be real help to them. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and shared.

  • internpete profile image

    Peter V 5 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

    MichiganMan - yes, there are a whole lot of other factors that are very important. Just because studying something like history is easy for someone, doesn't mean they should major in it! I hope you find the right major!

  • michiganman567 profile image

    michiganman567 5 years ago from Michigan

    Im trying to decide on my major. There are a few factors that weigh in. Time, money, interest, and the job that I can get with the degree. Right now I am leaning toward minimum time aka fewest prerequisite courses. The problem is that it is not the most interesting route.

  • internpete profile image

    Peter V 5 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

    ElleBee - Thanks, i still remember when I was trying to decide what to major in, and it was tough!

  • profile image

    ElleBee 5 years ago

    interesting hub. These are great tips, and i like that you simplified what can be a really difficult process for many students.

  • internpete profile image

    Peter V 5 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

    Nick - Thanks for reading and for commenting!

  • NickSimpson profile image

    NickSimpson 5 years ago from Jacksonville, Illinois

    This is an excellent hub, thanks for the good read,


  • internpete profile image

    Peter V 5 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

    Skyler - Yep, totally agree with you, while I was in college I had many friends who either went to very expensive schools, or majored in dead-end fields. Thus they left college with large debt or a degree that didn't mean much. I think your point could make another good hub. Thanks for reading!

  • skylergreene profile image

    skylergreene 5 years ago

    Another important consideration is financial prospects. If you want to live a comfortable lifestyle (nice car, nice house, etc) it's important to factor in starting and mid-career salaries, and balance those against student debt taken out to complete the degree. The sad truth is that some degrees (art and music especially) just don't pay much, and unless you're content to pursue your passions and endure financial hardship in the process, it's probably better to major in a STEM or business concentration that provides better career opportunities.