Choosing a Major in College

Choosing a major is one of the most important decisions a college student can make. The choice can have a lasting effect on a student’s life, shaping work experiences, earnings, and professional skills down the line.

When trying to find the best fit for their primary area of study, students should keep in mind their passions, earning potential, and career goals, among other things.

Here are four tips from experts on what to consider when choosing a major.

Find Your Passion

A major can greatly influence the activities and clubs students are involved with, the people they become friends with, and the connections they make.

Many students will weigh potential earnings when deciding on a major. While there’s merit to that, experts say students should first consider what they’re passionate about and what skills they want to build for success after college.

Do Your Research on What Schools Offer

Students who are set on a specific major should consider how that subject is taught at their target schools. Does that college have a track record of success with graduates from that major? Does that college even offer that major?

Calculate Possible Salaries

Once students have determined a passion, it can be valuable to know which majors are more or less likely to lead to a high salary. Students who have an idea of what they’ll make after college can get a jump-start on budgeting for things like student loan payments or graduate school.

Starting salaries for those who graduate with certain bachelor’s degrees, especially in science, technology, engineering, and math, can be particularly high. In fact, all 10 of the college majors with the highest starting salaries based on PayScale data are in STEM fields, with computer engineering and computer science the top-paid.

Consider Declaring a Major When Applying

Declaring a major when applying to college can signal to an admissions office that an applicant is focused.

(Courtesy: US News)

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