Over 60% of college students change their major their freshman or sophomore years of college. Even I did. My theory of why this is: We’re kids who haven’t experienced life yet! How are we supposed to know what field we want to work in for the rest of our lives? But if your parents are anything like most, they want you to choose a major because college is a lot of money. And they have a very good point there.

So how do you figure out what to major in? Here are a few guidelines to help you:

  • First and foremost, what do you like to do? And what are you good at? There’s a good chance that the activities you really enjoy are the ones that you have a strong talent for.

ECG Challenge: Get out a notebook and start listing things you love. Start with hobbies, but then get more specific. What about cooking makes you happy? Is it the creativity you have in making a new dish? Basketball? Is it the teamwork or leadership you show on the court? Use this brainstorming to figure out your core values and where your talents lie.

  • Once you have a better understanding of yourself and what you love, ask yourself again. What is it that gives you joy? What is something that you can do all day and never get bored? What is your biggest dream? At this point pick out your dream careers.
  • Once you’ve figured that out, it’s time to get realistic-what are the chances of you getting your dream job? Are you willing to put in the work? Make a timeline of what you will do with your future to attain your job.

ECG Challenge: Do your homework about your future. Ask around and find people who have the career you’re dreaming of. Ask them how they got to the point they are at. And above all else, ask how they enjoy their job.

  • How competitive is the career you’re going for? If it’s something like acting you might want to have another major or have a minor so that you can make money while you are trying to land a job. If it’s something in the medical field or criminal justice your level of difficulty in getting a job once you get your degree are pretty low so there’s no need to double major.
  • What is the average salary? Can you live off of that salary? If you want a family could raise it on that salary?
  • What is the level of demand in the state you want to work? You’ll have to do some research. Here’s an article to get you started: https://pattyinglishms.hubpages.com/hub/What-Jobs-are-In-Demand

These guidelines can help you get a head start on deciding what you want to major in, but above this I’d like remind you, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” You may go into school thinking one thing, but college is a learning experience. Not just learning about the books or the papers, but about learning about yourself. You may discover talents you did not know you had. Or discover a new dream career. Don’t be afraid to change majors or get work experience in fields that you did not initially find interesting. If you show your parents and others how mature you are becoming and how much you are thinking about your future, they will not think not be disappointed in you for wanting to change majors.

What Do You Think?

Have you changed your major? Are you not yet in college and still making some decisions? Will this help you?



  1. avatar Martin says:

    Do the job we like in our life, is not an easy task. For example, thousands of people go to drama schools and want to become famous actors and only 1% or even less succeed on that. Furthermore the job of our dreams, might not be as we have dreamed. I believe that the best thing to do is to decide among the realistic choices you have

    • avatar lita says:

      You shouldn’t limit yourself based off your own perceptions of yourself. Have objective self awareness and listen to criticism from people in your aspiring field. Yes, being an actor is competitive, but it’s a business, most people live in a fantasy world where they think a degree will get them everything they want, in order to make any “dream” come true you have to work long and hard for it and prepare. Anything you want to do is realistic, as long as you prepare, prepare, prepare and are ambitious. Also, choosing a school that is well known for your major would be smart, for example everyone I know that graduated from ISU as an education major has a job as an educator meanwhile none of my friends that graduated from other schools as education majors have a job as an educator, in fact some are going back to school, that falls under preparation. If you want to be an actor go to a school like AMDA, it’s is a top school that also takes preparation to get into. So I reiterate; stop living in a fantasy world and prepare, prepare, prepare!

  2. avatar lita says:

    That’s a really good question and I think a lot of people go through this. Like I wanted to be a musical theater major but my parents said there isn’t really stability in that so I chose education but I realized there isn’t enough demand in that field and changed to nursing. Which I don’t mind because I obviously have a lot of interests and science has always been one. So anyway what I plan on doing is get my degree in nursing and go back to school for musical theater once I have more security.
    If your passionate major is not in the cards for you now, choose a more practical major but still one you enjoy and after you graduate and have a career and more security to start a family you can go back to school and major in your passion.
    Hope that helped.

  3. avatar Haley says:

    I have a question, what if chances of you getting the job that you like is low? or like … you study what you love but then the salary is not enough especially if you want a family in the future?
    what if you pick a major that you dislike but then you get a job and the salary is very good?

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