Earning a college education is an important investment in your future, and choosing a major will help determine your career path after graduation. Some people might have a clear vision of what they want their career to be, but many college students experience some uncertainty about picking their major.
Here are three important questions to help you choose a major that’s right for you.
What interests me and am I good at it?
Think about the activities or subjects you find interesting and the skills and qualities you consider to be your strengths. Use this to narrow down your career interests to a specific field, and then research different roles and positions to find one that seems like a good fit for you. In addition to online research, talk with friends or peers that work in your desired field.
For example, if you like to work with people and you find anatomy and biology fascinating, then you could be well suited for a career in healthcare. Because healthcare is such a diverse field, you might find it beneficial to explore different specialties and aspects of healthcare. If you want to be more hands-on and work with patients, you might thrive as a nurse or a medical assistant. If you’re attentive to detail and analytical, consider careers in medical billing or medical coding.
What are my career opportunities once I graduate?
In choosing your major, it is helpful to think long-term about the career opportunities that will be available to you once you earn your degree. Is this something you can see yourself doing for a long time? Is this career in high demand and will it continue to be relevant in the future? You can find information on employment trends through professional organizations, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Research requirements for entry-level roles in your field. Then, determine the type of degree program you’ll need to get the kind of job you want. In some fields, like technology, you can qualify for entry-level roles with a diploma or associate’s degree, while more advanced roles require a bachelor’s and sometimes a master’s degree.
What college is the best option for my major?
The final step is to find the college or university that best meets your needs. Consider flexible learning options, such as online classes and night classes, which make it easier for working students to fit education into their lives. Also, compare the length of programs, transfer credits and the amount of resources available to you as a student at each school.
Choosing a major is a big decision – and one that requires a lot of thought and consideration. By focusing first on yourself and where your interests lie, you can find a job that not only excites you, but also allows you to play to your strengths.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.