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I Have to Pick a Major -- Now What?

I Have to Pick a Major -- Now What?

Peter Vogt/Monster Contributing Writer

Every time you’re on break from school, someone hits you with that most common question asked of college students: “What’s your major?”

For months, you’ve been able to get away with responses like “I’m not sure,” or “I’m keeping my options open.” But now – thanks to your school’s academic rules, your parents’ incessant nagging or even your own impatience – you’re forced to make a choice, and you don’t know what to do.

Thousands of college students around the country go through the same anxiety-producing experience every year, often around mid-semester when they have to choose their courses for the following semester (and they’ve already taken all their general or core courses).

Are you in the “I have to pick a major — now what?” mode? If so, don’t panic. If you’re like many college students, the major you select won’t have a huge impact on your future career anyway. But even if it will, there are plenty of things you can do to help yourself make a sound decision.

Meet with a Campus Career Counselor.

Your school’s career counselors know your institution’s majors well, and they have a good general sense of where those majors might take you with respect to your career. Perhaps more importantly, though, many campus career centers keep detailed statistics on the types of jobs their schools’ graduates have landed with various majors. Typically, these statistics appear in the career center’s placement report, which you can ask for and then read to find out where different majors might take you in the future.

Read Your Undergraduate Bulletin and Related Publications.

Maybe you don’t need to actually read the entire undergraduate bulletin, but at the very least, page through it and look at all the majors available at your institution. You never know when you’ll stumble upon one that really fits your interests.

If browsing your institution’s undergraduate bulletin sounds far too boring, stop by your school’s admissions office and ask for briefer major-related publications that might be available.

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