While it is a big commitment, choosing a major will not dictate the rest of your life – you can always change your mind and explore other options.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average adult in their 20s will switch jobs once every three years, and the average person will change careers two or three times in their lifetime. So don't worry if you aren't sure about what you want to be when you grow up, even if you're already grown up.
There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a major that's right for you. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself these three simple questions to help guide you on the right path.
It makes sense to consider what you want to do after you earn your degree as part of this decision process. If you can picture your dream job, explore what educational requirements, skills, and knowledge you'll need and go after it.
Most importantly, you shouldn't feel intimidated to follow your passions when choosing a major. After all, if everyone pursued the same career, no one would be able to find a job. Use your unique strengths and interests to your advantage and stand out from the crowd.
Not sure which career fields best suit your interests? Use this helpful career quiz to find out!
Money shouldn't be the sole reason you get an education, but you will need to earn a living in whatever industry you enter. Consider the earning potential of the field you choose, but don't let it be the only factor influencing your decision. You'll also want to consider the industry's growth rate and the number of career options available.
For example, a B.S. in Communication can lead to jobs in marketing, management, or even human resources. With that said, a B.S. in Human Resource Management is more specialized if you know you want a career in human resources.
Get a better idea of the opportunities and requirements in your desired major by conducting a job search as if you've already graduated. See what job titles come up to get a feel for the level of demand and salary range.
Once you start narrowing your degree options, you still might not be 100% sure. It isn't until you start taking courses that you learn enough about a field to know whether or not you'll truly like it anyway.
Try experimenting with a few different subjects during your first few classes to make sure you can see yourself doing it long term. This is especially useful if you have to take electives anyway. You won't waste any money and you'll move closer to your full degree.
One way to test out a major AND add specialized skills to your resume is to use your elective credits as part of a specialization. Complete four or five courses in project management for example. If you love it, make it your major. If you aren't sure, earn your degree in organizational leadership and you use those project management courses for a specialization. It's an impressive secondary set of skills that will impress employers and give you a well-rounded resume.
Above all else, you need to be excited and interested in what you’re learning about in order to succeed. Find a major that is personally appealing to you, gives you room to grow, and is fundamentally desirable to the economy and the professional world.