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What Should My Major Be?

Updated on July 22, 2013

I always thought the right major for an individual in college was the one that they'd enjoy the most- the one that they thought they'd have the most fun with. Going to a university where many people are either business/broadcasting majors, I have some worries. You should be thinking about your life in the long-run and not the here-and-now. Realistically.

What's the economic future of the country going to be like? What kind of salary do you want to make? What values are most important to you?

It's okay if you don't know right away

Your first year at university, especially if you have NO idea what you want to do, should be about exploring. If you're going to college because one of your values is having a good income (which I'm sure is for many of you), then picking a major isn't just about something you love. It's mostly about picking a major that's going to give you opportunities to get the job/type of salary you desire.

Is majoring in business a good idea?

For those of you who want to go into business, I have some concerns which I think you should consider- not so much to discourage you from majoring in business, but for something to think about, because I know that they're many college students who want to major in business. We need to think about the country and it's economy, because it's our generations and the ones to come who are going to lead it. There are so many issues that need solutions and fast (there is an energy crisis). Think about this: Does it make sense to have lots of people go into marketing products? So much so that there's more people marketing products than there are products being made? I really think the issue of not enough people producing and too many people selling, is going to eventually be a big one if there is nothing done differently.

What can I get out of it?

What are you going to be able to do with a History, English, Psychology major? Not every major is created equally, neither in it's difficulty nor in it's eventual pay off. If you want to major in something like History, you need to find a type of job that is going to give you the salary you want. You need to do research. If you aren't finding anything that suits you.. then maybe it's time to break-up with your major.

Every year lists the highest paying salary majors:

Among the top for 2012 are the science and math majors. Among the lower are the non-science like majors. Take a look.

Top 10 Highest Paying Major

  1. Petroleum Engineering
  2. Chemical Engineering
  3. Electrical Engineering
  4. Materials Science and Engineering
  5. Aerospace Engineering
  6. Computer Engineering
  7. Physics
  8. Applied Mathematics
  9. Computer Science
  10. Nuclear Engineering

Top 10 Lowest Paying Majors

  1. Child and Family Studies
  2. Elementary Studies
  3. Social Work
  4. Culinary Arts
  5. Special Education
  6. Recreation and Leisure Studies
  7. Religious Studies
  8. Athletic Training
  9. Public Health
  10. Theology

Notice a trend? Categorize for yourself what kind of majors are at the top, and are at the bottom. What fields do we need people in for the future?

Decide what you want out of your career

The ultimate goal is this: to pick a major that makes your future career feel like you haven't worked a day in your life. Pick a major that can give you a career- that can give you options, to obtain the quality of living you desire. Pick something, for those of you brave enough, that can help change the world. I truly believe (and am a little biased, here) that we need more people in science and math, because these are the people that are going to solve the problems. This world just has too many problems and not enough solutions.


Submit a Comment
  • KatSanger profile image

    Katherine Sanger 

    6 years ago from Texas

    I have to say - I've gone through multiple majors, and I think that's okay, too. Sometimes we have changes in life, and sometimes we have to go back to school due to career changes. That's not necessarily a bad thing; it can help give people a lot of freedom and knowledge they wouldn't otherwise have.

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    I was notorious for walking my personal file with my major paperwork back and forth between two specific colleges four times before I decided upon my "major." I was against the wall as it was my senior year. Nevertheless, I haven't looked back. I know I made the right decision, because here I am writing online, eventually for a living. Words of wisdom to all college students: Follow your heart and be true to who you are. And as Paul Kuehn mentioned make sure that you have the aptitude for your "dream major." No sense in spending more time (or money) doing something that won't get you hired or happy.--Deb

  • Paul Kuehn profile image

    Paul Richard Kuehn 

    6 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand


    This is a useful and interesting hub. The points you make in this hub are all well-taken. One of the most important things, though, in choosing a college major is to make sure you have the aptitude and ability to do what you are so interested in. I took pre-med years ago because I liked it without any aptitude or ability. The courses were tough and frustrating for me and I never got into med school. Voted up and sharing.


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