Choosing a college major for some is easy; some people know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. For others, choosing a college major is probably one of the hardest decisions they will make in their life. It doesn’t help that there are now a lot of college courses and college programs among which you have to choose.
There was once a time when choices were simple: good or evil, ketchup or mayonnaise, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts. Nowadays, you have to choose between shades of gray, one gazillion condiments and a plethora of majors.
The trick in making a college major choice, they say, is to narrow things down as you go along. This article will help you do that. The following are some of the things you must consider when choosing a college course.
Choosing your college major consideration # 1: Your Interest
The most basic consideration in the choice of a college major or college course is, of course, what you want. Is there something that you’ve always wanted to get into, something that resonates within the very fiber of your being? If so, that may be where you’re meant to go.
In the event that you don’t know or don’t feel that siren song, fret not. You can always go for career assessment care of your local guidance office. That would certainly make choosing a college course more systematic and easier.
Choosing your college major consideration #2: Your Aptitude
Choosing a college major also entails an assessment of your skills and talents. You may know what you want, but do you know what you’re good at?
Interest and aptitude are two different things. Ideally, you should pursue a college course or choose a college major that allows you to explore both. In this less than perfect world, however, this is usually not possible for some people. In that case, you’d have to weigh your priorities: pick a college major you will be good at or pick a college course that is in line with your interest? Better yet, find a college course that you will be good at and has the potential of arousing your interest.
Choosing your college major consideration #3: Your Values
Every career comes with non-quantifiable stuff: fulfillment, meaning and purpose, pure altruism, you name it. They help determine what you’d like to get out of a career (and a college major) besides material compensation.
Choosing your college major consideration #4: Money Matters
Money matters, in more ways than one. Money matters because it will dictate what course you can or cannot afford. Money matters should therefore be part of your college major choice.
If it’s one thing you must always factor in, it’s reality. This can be broken down into a number of sub-considerations. How much money does the course require you to invest? How much money do you actually have on hand to invest? How much money will you (approximately) make if you take up a career in line with that college major? How much money would you like to earn after college?
Choosing your college major consideration #5: Time and Practical Considerations
You should also be aware of what you’re getting into when choosing a college major. What will your college course require you to do? Are you willing to do it? As a case in point, if you’re squeamish about the sight of blood, why should you decide to go for a Nursing Degree?
How much time are you willing to invest in your college course and major? If you want school to be over and done with as soon as possible, then you should probably not choose a college course that won’t be useful without further study.
Choosing your college major consideration #6: Your Commitment
Choosing a college course requires you to look inwards and assess your commitment to your chosen path. Assuming that you have the issue of money and other practical considerations settled, do you actually possess the skills and the patience to go the distance? Moreover, do you actually want to do so? There’s also a chance that your parents may be expecting you to tread a certain academic path; will you have the strength and the will to stick it out against all odds?
Choosing your college major consideration #7: The Times
Nope, you don’t have to read the Times to know what college course to pick (Yup, that’s a lousy joke). Kidding aside, don’t ever forget to consider the times in your decision-making process. Case in point: the global economy was in a bit of a slump at the time I wrote this article. There are instances when certain courses may appear to be more profitable or more popular than others due to current circumstances.
Choosing your college major consideration #8: Other People’s Feedback
Besides guidance counselors, family and friends, you may also want to ask other people for their opinions regarding the matter. College alumni and alumnae always make for interesting interviews-been there, done that. Professors and classmates will also have a lot of significant input to offer.
Choosing your college major consideration #9: Your Choices
Also, do remember that there are some benefits to doing things by the book-or more specifically, the college’s catalogue of courses. Take a peek and note the unit and credit requirements for each course, along with whatever minors and electives you can take as part of the package deal.
Choosing your college major consideration #10: Spiritual Considerations
Finally, know this: you’ll most likely change courses-even careers!-as you go along, so don’t be overly fixated on any one course. No one course is the end all and be all. There are numerous examples of people out there who majored in one thing and built a career or three out of another.
If you’re a believer, though, I strongly recommend that you pray about it ask God what He wants you to take. After all, only He knows what path you will ultimately tread.