High school can be a whirlwind; before you know it, you’re in your final year, ready to graduate. This can feel like the biggest change you’ve had to face yet and is indeed your first step into the real world, where every decision you make can have a lasting impact. Although there are a lot of big choices you’ll have to make as you graduate, the most important is what major you pick for college.
A college education is vital to kickstart your career and ensure you can attain your dream job. It gives you the necessary skills and exposure to thrive professionally and personally. However, picking a college major is challenging, especially when you have so many options available.
There are many things to consider before you choose a college major, and below, we’ll discuss some of the most important ones.
Find something that fits your schedule
College is no less than a full-time job. With demanding class schedules that take up most of your day and coursework that requires around-the-clock devotion, it can be pretty hard to fit anything else into your routine in college. However, while this can be acceptable for most students, adjusting to college can be difficult if you have other responsibilities.
However, some excellent programs allow you to opt for advanced education without having to sacrifice everything else. These programs can be extremely comprehensive, covering a wide range of topics and allowing you to learn from the best in the field without rehauling your entire schedule. Online university programs are thus increasingly popular and worth considering if you want to keep up with other commitments as you study. You can find online undergraduate programs from an accredited institute to help you easily take your career to the next step.
College isn’t cheap. Over the years, college tuition has increased exponentially, and most parents have had to save thousands to give their kids a chance for the best opportunities. So, it only makes sense to ensure that the degree program you go for can help you earn back what you spend on college and have a financially stable life.
Student loans are higher than ever, making considering your financial prospects even more important after graduation. Although there might be several programs you’re interested in, not all of these options can offer you financial stability moving forward.
The job market can be exceptionally tough, and if you have an interest that doesn’t typically pay well or offer job security, it’s better to keep up with it as a side interest. Although this might seem unfair, doing so is the smartest choice if you want to manage your passion project and everyday life.
Focus on your strengths
When we think of college, most people tend to gravitate toward the typical, tried, and tested options. While healthcare, law, and STEM careers can be incredibly fulfilling and provide excellent prospects, it is also important to consider your strengths. These careers can be just as challenging, and if you don’t have the necessary skills, you’ll spend the next four years faltering and graduating with an average GPA.
Instead, focus on your strengths and weaknesses when selecting a college degree. While this requires a ton of introspection, it also requires consultation. Your teachers are the best resource to avail here and can give you in-depth information on your academic strengths and weaknesses and which careers you’ll be best suited for. Additionally, college counseling is an excellent option to go for. These counselors can conduct several tests to assess your academic prowess and give you data-backed answers about where you’ll most flourish.
How competitive is my program?
College education has grown incredibly competitive over the years, and degree programs that were previously easy to get into are now almost inaccessible. Qualifying requirements continue to become increasingly stringent, so before you pick a college program, you must decide whether you’re ready to keep up with a high level of competitiveness. The most competitive college programs aren’t just hard to get into but also hard to stay in. If you’re interested, you must keep up with that same level of vigor.
Additionally, levels of competitiveness can vary across different institutes. Typically, the most famous institutes have a low acceptance rate and can be difficult to get into. Don’t fret or become disheartened if the entry requirements are too much for you or get rejected from your dream schools. You can apply for the same major at another school.
Get first-hand accounts
On paper, there are a lot of college programs that can seem like the perfect fit. You might be super excited to join your dream college or step into the field you’re passionate about, but the first-hand experience can often be pretty different. Before you make your final choice, speak to people from the field, especially alumni from the colleges you’re interested in most.
Doing so can help you get real-life advice on what the program will be like, the campus culture and workload, and how you can thrive. At times, talking to alumni can help you see clearly that this is your best option. However, at times it can also show you that the program or school you were gunning for isn’t as great as it seemed. Moreover, speaking to alumni can also help you figure out other aspects, such as financial prospects for the future and what funding options you can avail yourself of as a student. Scholarships, grants, and other incentives can all be fundamental in letting you complete your education, and alumni can help guide you toward the best resources.
Stepping into college is your first step into the real world and comes with a lot of weight. Selecting one major from the available options is challenging, but this list can help you decide. Considering these aspects can give you a clearer idea of what can work for you and what can help you thrive professionally and personally moving forward.