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Find Your College Major

Aug 17, 2007
Getting into college is one thing; finding the right major is quite another and, in some ways, just as important. Modern college students seem to change their career choices (the major) several times before they finally pick one and hang with it long enough to graduate.

So, there is no reason to be concerned or alarmed if you can't find the "perfect major" in your first semester. You have time, but too much time can be expensive and wasteful. The sooner you get on the right track, the sooner you will graduate and embark on your career.

Let's look at some of the considerations -- beyond your interests, past successes and apparent talents -- which should be your focus as you evaluate your options. There is a wide variety of options from basic computer training, to a career as a paralegal, a degree in business administration or massage therapy training. The successful search for a major will require research and serious self-evaluation, but the major that fits your lifestyle and your goals is out there, waiting for you.

First, let's consider what interests you the most. Is it money? Then some field that pays well will probably get your attention. Many students consider a pharmacy degree or a degree in psychology to be a better career path for a money consideration. But you may find that money is no substitute for other things in life: leisure time, challenge, travel, or family. The quest for money may actually frustrate your search for the things that please you most, or the things that give your life a fulfilling meaning. You have to pretty honest with yourself.

Second, you should be practical in your choice of major. Ask yourself, "Why did I decide to go to college in the first place?" Then, plan your course of study accordingly. If you are interested in acquiring knowledge and experience, then you may follow your primary interests into any field that attracts you. A number of students are interested in helping people so they become a dental hygienist, choose a career in criminal justice or a physical therapy degree. A college degree, no matter what the subject, can open many doors with many different labels.

If you enjoy reading and writing, getting a degree in English might be a logical choice for you. You may want to be a educator and elect to become a teacher . English majors, however, may find the job market very tight and somewhat unappealing -- not as lucrative as a degree in business or computer science.

Third, if you are unsure about your interests or your true aptitudes, then you're in very good company. Students are often discouraged from choosing a career plan early in life because the "possibilities are endless." While that's true, it is also true that time and money is not inexhaustible. So, your college experience can be a laboratory in which you experience many different subjects and practices. Chances are that the people who interest you most are involved in the fields that will interest you most, too. Keep your eyes open and your choices flexible, but not postpone your decision forever.

Finally, no matter what your choice, remember that you can always change your mind. Modern research tells us that most professionals will change the companies for whom they work several times. In fact, today's college graduate may expect to change careers more than once, as technology, society and economies evolve.

Don't worry about the competitive edge: today's graduates share the same disadvantage when it comes to employability; they need experience. You can use your college days to get valuable experience in part-time work, internships, cooperative education, and study abroad opportunities. Each of these activities could be the key to finding the career path that interest and excites you the most.

You'll get second chances, of course. If you attend graduate school, for instance, your career may take a completely different direction. For the moment, your objective should be to learn as much as possible about your world and yourself. Although, it is never too early to consider best graduate schools that are available in your chosen field of study. Once you graduate, the world will get more complex, and the price tag for study and learning will go up.

Now is the best time to try as much as you can without wandering aimlessly toward the unknown future. The odds are that your trip will not end exactly as you imagine, but traveling with confidence and an open mind will help you find pleasant traveling companions and take to you interesting places. Bon Voyage!
About the Author
Dewitt Shotts is the Founder of Marketing Solutions, Inc. which serves the proprietary school industry as a full service company for television, media buying, direct mail and hosts the site College & Career Source .
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