After high school, there is a lot of excitement around going to college and chasing your dreams. Students marvel at the endless possibilities awaiting them in the future, but one major question always needs to be answered; what do I pursue in college? It is one of the biggest decisions an individual has to make because it determines what they will commit to for the next 3-5 years of their lives, depending on their choice.
While it’s true that some usually already have their whole life planned out, including their career path, a majority of students struggle with this decision. There are usually a lot of factors at play with this decision, but this text should try to help individuals narrow down their choices. The information should also be useful for people who feel they need a career change.
Why Is It Important to Choose the Right College/University Course?
There is more to college than learning, but your education should always take priority, and the first step is deciding what to pursue. Why is this decision so important?
Higher education can be challenging, and the freedom students enjoy comes with a higher level of responsibility. Your choice, of course, will determine how motivated you are to see it through. Unfortunately, many students choose classes they are not interested in, and over time they become completely demotivated and struggle to graduate.
Remember, you will encounter various challenges during your college experience, and it might be easy to give up if you do not care about what you’re learning. However, when you love what you’re pursuing, you’ll always aim to give it your all to get the desired results and face any challenges head-on.
Your career should play a big part in what you choose. Numerous courses are out there, but they tend to affect your career differently. Some courses offer better career prospects than others, something many students realize after graduating. Understand that competition for opportunities is high out there, and if you don’t choose the right college course, you might struggle to get your desired position.
Your Financial Future
The course you choose will greatly determine how well you can secure your financial future. It would be disheartening to spend several years in college, rake up student loans, only to struggle financially for years to come.
College is expensive, and you will likely feel the pinch without deep pockets. But you know what’s more expensive, switching a course midway because you made the wrong choice. So, it’s worth getting it right the first time.
The professional world moves fast, and you should aim to jump in as early as possible. So, you lose time if you have to switch courses or delay graduation for making the wrong choice. By the time you graduate, your classmates will have secured good positions.
Tips on How to Choose Your College Major
Now, it’s time to make the decision. So how do you go about it? Well, here’re some tips to help narrow down your options. They should help you make the right call.
Identify Your Passions/Interests
What fields are you curious about or interested in? What do you enjoy learning? These are some questions that should help you find a course that matches your preferences and personality. As mentioned earlier, choosing something you are interested in gives you that extra motivation to succeed. Find subjects you are passionate about and identify courses that offer them.
You can find out a lot about different courses by doing some research. After compiling a shortlist of courses you might be interested in pursuing, it’s time to do some homework. Find out as much as you can about each of them. Things you can aim to find out are:
- What are the course objectives?
- What is the duration of the course?
- What are the entry requirements?
- What are the career opportunities for graduates?
- What institutions offer the course?
College brochures and websites are great places to start, but you can supplement that by doing more research online. If possible, speak to students currently taking these courses; they can tell you what to expect from their experiences.
Compare the Courses
Once you have enough information about the courses, it’s time to compare them. First, list the pros and cons of the various majors and find the ones that best fit your ambitions. Next, you can use a spreadsheet and compare them according to different criteria like; flexibility, quality, tuition cost, and accreditation. From there, identify those that stand out and are manageable and won’t make you rely on sites like MasterPapers to complete schoolwork.
It is your decision, but that doesn’t mean you should make it alone. Ask for input from others, such as family and friends, mentors, career counselors, and even teachers. They might have some valuable knowledge, so consider their opinions before deciding. However, ensure your final decision is your own; don’t be coerced into pursuing something you have no interest in.
Trust Your Judgement
By completing all the above, you should know which course fits you best. You know yourself better than anyone, so you should trust that you know what’s best for you. There will be a lot of moments of uncertainty, and the only way to get past the indecisiveness is to look within yourself and go after what you feel is right for you.
Choosing the right course to take in college is a major decision, but don’t let the pressure get you. No course is perfect, and even after following the above steps, you might have a change of heart along the way. So, take the decision seriously but remember it’s not necessarily a do-or-die situation. People have changed their perspectives along the way, and often it has worked out. So don’t be too strict about it.