Courses tips and info

How to Choose a Major?

Yocket Editorial Team

Firstly, to choose a major, you must understand the gravity of the need for YOU to select the major, rather than letting others (esp. your parents) choose it. However, most of us are not sure about it at the time of college applications. Sure, take their help, take their opinions into consideration, talk to people studying under graduation, but don’t let others decide for you. Because ultimately, it is YOU who has to pursue higher education in the field and eventually make a living out of it.

The Return on Investment (ROI) on it is also something to consider. Does the major have a scope for further specialisation? Is it going to help you pay back the investments that went into studying it? Will it cash out enough salary in the future? And conclusively, will you be happy working in the field for which you rooted in today? Of course, you could always be indecisive in the starting, putting an ‘undecided’ in your college application, although you will have to declare the major by the second (sophomore) year of college.

  1. If you are confused between some options, you could go for a double major, putting in twice as many hours and work into use. There is always an option for minors, requiring lesser hours and work than another major. The demand for you in the market would increase this way, although you wouldn’t be able to try-out with other subjects, unrelated to your field, much. An academic concentration is something like a specialised focus within a major. Some universities offer these academic concentrations as minors. Example- An academic major of Science with an academic concentration in Biology.

  2. You can also enquire with a counsellor for advice. Furthermore, more than half of students change their majors at least once during a course of four-years, so you don’t need to absolutely decide about it beforehand. Also, many a times, people pursue a postgraduate degree in something completely unrelated to their undergraduate major, and turn out to be successful in their careers. The Financial Times takes a look at some of these Career Changers in their article.

  3. Your interests and passion play an indispensable role in deciding your major. In spite of this, you should also see if you will be able to go through the intense curriculum of the college; see if the course fits your ability. If you are genuinely interested in Mathematics but the coursework seems too intense, take help of students who are pursuing it, talk to them and gauge your abilities to be able to go through the curriculum; you can visit events conducted by colleges, in case you are not able to visit the campuses. You can take classes in the relevant courses as well, in your first (freshman/frosh) year, to ascertain your interest.

  4. The most popular majors include Business, Engineering and Architecture, Computer, Education, and Health. It is noticed that generally students tend to choose those majors which lead to potentially high salaries and incentives. According to a report by Forbes, the highest paying college majors include-


Average Median Salary

1. Petroleum Engineering


2. Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration


3. Metallurgical Engineering


4. Mining and Mineral Engineering


5. Chemical Engineering


6. Electrical Engineering


7. Aerospace Engineering


8. Mechanical Engineering


9. Computer Engineering


10. Geological and Geophysical Engineering


While the lowest paying college majors include-


Average Median Salary

1. Family and Consumer Sciences


2. Drama and Theatre Arts


3. Elementary Education


4. Theology and Religious Vocations


5. Visual and Performing Arts


6. Teacher Education: Multiple Levels


7. Social Work


8. Studio Arts


9. Human Services and Community Organization


10. Early Childhood Education



Planning to study abroad for your under graduation might get you into a fix, but always remember that it all depends on the quality of time you spend on quality education; the correct blend of your major and college would get you to places. The key is to just be smart while selecting the schools which are well known for your major.

If you are done with your SAT or ACT, and IELTS/TOEFL, you should start preparing for your college applications as soon as possible.

Good luck!

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