26
Jan

On Choosing a Major…

Once you start college, the #1 question you will be asked is ‘what is your major’?  Your parents, and every other adult on the face of the planet, seem to think you should know exactly what it is you’re going to do in college and the rest of your life.  Silly people.

But really, it is a big decision; one that deserves some thought.

My Experience
I majored in Marketing…  And I now regret it. There, I’ve said it.  What a weight off my shoulders!   :P

I chose Marketing during the second half of my sophomore year because I figured that it would get me more money.  I didn’t really know anything about it, and it sounded kind of interesting- that was about it.  Thinking back, I really can’t believe how little thought I gave this decision.  I originally started out as an Elementary Education major because I love teaching and working with kids. I switched after deciding that teachers are underpaid and overworked; and the demand for new teachers in my area was very low.  Seeing as I’ve already made this mistake, and hindsight is 20/20, I suppose I could tell you about a few of my ‘should haves’.

So how can you find a major that’s right for you?

First, don’t panic!  Ha, I’m serious.  It’s okay if you don’t have your major chosen within your first year of college.  It’s a good idea to take a wide variety of classes to get a feel for what you like for the first semester or two.  Hopefully that will make your decision a bit easier as well.

Do something you enjoy.  This should be obvious, but a lot people may need to do some searching before they find something they really want to do.  This was my mistake; while marketing may be right for some people, it definitely is not right for me. I would seriously recommend reading What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles, and Do What You Are by Paul D. Tieger.  These books are both incredibly helpful when it comes to choosing a career path or finding a job.

Pretend that you already have the degree and you need to find a job. See what kind of jobs are available where you want to live, how many there are, how much experience they want, how much they pay, etc.  This will give you a better idea of what it’s going to be like around graduation time.

*Note: If I had done this in college I would have realized that every entry-level job in “marketing” in my town was a sales position, I would have switched majors so fast my advisor’s head would’ve been spinning. Now I’m stuck with a degree I don’t want to put to use (unless it’s within my own business, or I move).

Get experience.  I don’t mean a full time job.  Volunteer.  Get an internship.  Both will be more valuable than you can imagine.  It is really the best way to truly discover the job and figure out if it’s right for you.  Another added bonus is that both look great on your resume! Check out InternWeb if you’re looking for an internship; or VolunteerMatch if you’d like to find a volunteer opportunity in your area.

Make a game plan.  I know people are always pushing this, but seriously.  It really works.  Where do you really want to be in 10 years?  Most importantly, how are you going to get there?  Having a vision of your life after college will really help you out, even if you don’t follow it to a T.  Not only will it help you get to where you want to be career-wise, but it’ll probably help you avoid financial fumbles after graduation.

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2 Comments

  • jason Said:

    Marketing = sales job. Lolz!

  • Myrina Stein Said:

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