Okay, I am sick of getting asks about picking and choosing what to major in in college, so I am finally hunkering down and writing a guide. So help me, I never want to read another “How should I choose what to major in?” question again, or I may die from anger.
First of all, “What is a college major?” A college major is a program composed of different courses/classes that is designed to educate you in a specific discipline, such as: Biology, Chemistry, Art, Business, Music, Nursing, etc. In case you didn’t know what the fuck a college major was, you now hopefully do.
How do I pick what to major in? There are several different ways to pick a major, and ultimately, that shit’s up to you. Don’t bother asking me what’s best to major in, because I will ignore the fuck out of you. Also, you shouldn’t let strangers on the internet dictate your life like that—I may go mad with power, and no one wants that. Anyway, take a gander at the following…
If you have a career path in mind, this might make picking a major much easier for you. Go to a website like My Next Move or College Board’s Big Future and search for the job/career you are interested in, and then look at the educational requirements for that job. Some of you may find that you don’t need a Bachelor’s degree for what you want to do, and some may find out that you need a Doctorate. Either way, be aware of your educational needs for your desired career. If a career lists several possible subjects to major in, pick any of them—they all lead to the same place, yeah?
If you have no fucking clue, don’t panic. Most colleges don’t require you to sign up for a major until you earn enough credits to be considered a Junior. In the meantime, get your liberal or general education credits out of the way—you know, College Writing, Intro to Biology, Art History, or whatever credits your college/university requires. If you’re really worried about it, talk to your academic advisor or try using some of the tools on My Next Move or Big Future to find majors or careers you may be interested in.
If you’re somewhere in the middle, congrats on being fucking Goldilocks. If you’re interested in several careers, see if they all have educational requirements in common, and then see if there’s a major in that. If you have multiple subjects that interest you, but you don’t know if there’s a major that involves them, see if your college offers it as a major. Then talk to your academic advisor about the program to see if you’d like it. You can also look at majors based on your academic strengths—for example, if you’re a math-magician, maybe Mathematics or Economics could be for you. Similarly, you can look at your hobbies and interests and see what kind of programs can relate to those. Like, if you’re into tabling at conventions and running an etsy store, maybe you’d fare well as a Business major. Or if you’re big into the environment, maybe you’d like to major in something like Natural Resources.
There’s no real one way to pick a major. And unless you plan on going into something very specific (like Nursing or Teaching), your degree doesn’t necessarily equal your career. Something I used to ask students is: How do you think college admissions reps got their jobs? It requires a Bachelor’s degree, but what do you think they majored in? Eh? It’s like that for a lot of jobs—I know we’ve told people before that your major doesn’t always matter, but having the education (ie, the degree) does. Also, my last job had nothing to do with my Biology degree—it just required that I had a Bachelor’s degree.
Also, a quick note on double-majoring and minors: Talk to your academic advisor before deciding on these. Most colleges require you to obtain your advisor’s (or someone’s) permission to double-major anyway, especially if you’re less than stellar grade-wise. Double-majors can take a lot of work, even more so if they are completely unrelated and don’t share any required classes (like if you were to double-major in Art and Chemistry). And minors…well; personally, I don’t think they mean squat.
Story Time: When I was in college, I was torn up about dropping my Chemistry and Art minors (There were no classes offered for that would fit my schedule for my last year-and-a-half). Then my wonderful academic advisor informed me that most employers don’t give a shit about what I minored in, because most don’t ask about your minors at all, and that I shouldn’t feel bad about it. But if you want to minor in something you like or want to have more knowledge about—do it (That’s pretty much why I took those minors in the first place).
-The Sudden Adult