How To Choose A Major In College

How To Choose A Major In College If You’re Confused in 2023

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Choosing a major can be a challenging decision for some students and an easy decision for others. Some students know what they want to study from the start as freshmen, while others don’t know until their second or third year in college. 

Everyone says you should choose something you enjoy, but then you have to choose something that will eventually lead to graduate school and a job, which is where things become complicated. Some students have a wide range of interests and abilities, making it difficult to choose a major.

Some of the difficulties students confront while choosing a major may be related to their desire to double major, their want for confidence that the major will lead to a lucrative job, or their perception of a major leading to a life-long career decision and their desire for assurances that they will be happy.

This article explains how to choose a major even if you are confused when you should choose a major and how to choose a major based on your personality among other things.

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The Overview

A major is a subject in which students can specialize while pursuing a college degree.

Typically, between one-third and half of the courses you take in college are in or related to your major. You exhibit consistent, high-level work in one area by completing a major.

Some majors prepare you for a specific profession. Depending on the college or university, you may be allowed to double major, have a major and a minor, or even design your own major.

A minor differs from a major in that a minor degree is a secondary field of study and concentration that often supplements the major.

Some students choose minor degrees to follow personal interests, but others pursue minor degrees to achieve specialized specialization and make themselves more appealing to employers.

It is not uncommon for a physics major to minor in computer science or a student of engineering or economics to minor in mathematics.

This article explores certain things students should think about if they are confused about their college major.

Four Things students should consider if they are confused about their college major.

1. Being confused about your college major is Ok.

It’s natural for teenagers to not have their entire life worked out. While selecting a college that offers a students intended major should be a primary consideration throughout the college selection process, it is possible to choose a college without having a major in mind.

Most institutions require students to declare a major before the end of their sophomore year.

Students should not choose a major only to have one, especially if it is in an extremely difficult field. Instead, they should look into options that are more appropriate for their ability.

For example, if a student aspires to be a doctor but lacks scientific aptitude, they should reconsider their options in healthcare or explore other fields that match their strengths.

2. A major is not a profession

According to a 2013 research by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, more than 90 percent of employers believe that critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills are more significant than a candidate’s undergraduate degree.

Research also shows that only about 27 percent of college graduates work in a career that directly correlates with their college degree.

Many jobs do not necessitate a specific college major. Students, for example, do not have to major in biology, chemistry, or pre-med to attend medical school, or in pre-law or political science to attend law school. 

However, in other circumstances, a specific undergraduate major is required for a job. Students who want to be nurses or teachers, for example, must first study nursing or education.

However, for students who change their minds later in life, there are graduate degrees for these types of employment.

3. Students who are confused about their major may be required to transfer later.

Although it is acceptable to attend college undeclared, students should be aware that doing so may raise their chances of having to switch schools later if they choose a major that their college does not offer.

It is also conceivable for a student to be accepted to a college as an undecided major, but subsequently, apply to a competitive major program at the school and be refused. In that instance, they’d have to either change their major or transfer.

Students with a variety of interests should enroll in a college that offers a variety of majors. This can help to avoid the need to transfer, which can increase the amount of time and money required to earn a degree.

4. Students can choose a major with the help of research and contemplation.

Students who are unsure about their college major should sit down and think about their personality, interests, values, and academic strengths after this, speak with trusted adults (parents, teachers, high school counselors, etc.) about how the different majors being considered may relate to a future job.

Basically, students should consider their favorite high school coursework as part of this reflection. If they enjoy creative writing, they might consider a major in journalism or English.

Students who excel in band or music may choose to seek a major in performing arts or audio engineering.

Other questions students should consider are: 

  • What are some of your favorite pastimes?
  • What would you do for fun if you had an unscheduled hour? and
  • What kind of workplace setting do you envision for yourself? (desk job, school, business, outside, manual labor, etc.)

Some of this introspection might occur during a student’s first year of college.

College students who are confused about choosing a major should explore their interests by enrolling in classes that sound fascinating, participating in a new club, activity, or community service project, obtaining a job or internship in a field of interest, job shadowing, and visiting with advisors at the campus career center.

Talking about research and introspection, here are some steps to take if you are confused about how to choose a major in college.

Steps to Take if you are Confused about How to Choose a Major in College.

1. Understand Yourself

Getting to know yourself is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. You must be aware of your talents and limitations, as well as your motivations, preferences, and dislikes.

This isn’t going to be simple, that is yet another advantage of attending university, with so many clubs to join and possibilities to be had, you’ll find out what you’re passionate about in no time. 

According to studies, students perform better in school when they may focus on their interests. Unfortunately, identifying one’s interests is not always straightforward for a student.

Consider taking a personality quiz for assistance. This assessment combines your habits and attitudes to determine one of 16 personality types. This can go a long way in helping to understand yourself more.

​​​​​​​2. Be open-minded and question preconceptions.

Don’t be scared to look at different job choices as you go through the motions at university.

You may have an opinion about a particular job route, don’t dismiss it just yet. It is reckless to disregard anything merely because you believe you understand what it is about.

University is a place for greater learning, and you can’t learn if you close your mind to new experiences. Some students choose majors based purely on salary potential and employment demand.

Other students, on the other hand, choose majors in which they are interested and/or proficient.

Consider which of these three elements — economic benefit, interest level, and aptitude is most significant and relevant to you and your future ambitions before deciding on a major.

​​​​​​​3. Consider where your strength lies

As you grow to know yourself better, you will discover your strengths and weaknesses. Your abilities are your strengths, and they can help you get your diploma.

Humanities may be a wonderful choice if you have a talent for writing and research. If you have an interest in animals, biology could be a great career route for you.

Find out what skills you have and then go from there. Select a broad category first, then go into specifics, and then reduce the list. You can also take a college major quiz.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​4. Conduct research

Reading about your areas of interest is a crucial element of all of this. You may gain a feel of what has happened in the area, where it came from, and where it is headed by conducting some study into each career.

Having a feeling of its orientation may steer you in the right direction. 

Go online and go through the department, the major, and all of the major-required courses.

Take a stroll through the school bookstore and look at the textbooks that lecturers have chosen for those classes. Then attend the introductory class. Sit in on other people’s meetings.

Consult with students who have chosen that major as well as an academic advisor to plan out the major path. And, if it’s still looking promising, enroll in extra classes to assist solidify your selection. 

​​​​​​​5. Find a mentor preferably a course adviser

One of the most significant actions you can take while deciding on a major is to consult with your academic advisor. They’ve had similar conversations with hundreds of students and can offer valuable advice on choosing a major.

Your advisor may even suggest a major you hadn’t considered before that would help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Finding someone in the department is an excellent method to get career guidance.

In addition to conducting a study on the subject, having a knowledgeable specialist on hand to provide guidance might be advantageous. You can have an ally to help you get into the industry when you’re ready if you have the correct mentor in your chosen subject of study. 

Remember that an academic advisor’s time is valuable and limited when interacting with them. Bring a list of serious questions to the meeting.

​​​​​​​6. Engage in Internships.

Mentorship from your lecturer or course adviser is one thing, but asking others who work in that profession is arguably more beneficial for expanding your knowledge base.

These individuals will be able to tell you about the highs and lows of that field while also providing you with an understanding of the talents you’ll need to thrive in that job.

An internship is therefore another excellent option for gaining experience and determining your career path. This is especially beneficial if you’ve restricted your emphasis to a specific vocation.

Now is an excellent time to get out into the field and investigate the job in person. You will gain real-world experience and a better understanding of what that particular field has to offer.

If you like it, you can pursue it. If you don’t, you won’t have wasted years studying something you don’t care about!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

It is determined by the school. Some students declare a major in their first year, while others wait until their junior year. Individual departments may have their own rules, so be sure to inquire.

You have various possibilities if you can’t decide on a major. Taking classes from other areas, as well as meeting with your academic advisor to discuss the advantages and cons of the possibilities you’re considering, can help reduce your selections.

Colleges want students to consider their options thoroughly and not rush into a degree if they are confused. So it is not a worrying sign and it is Ok.

Consider communication – whether you choose to read, write, or speak, communication can help you develop new skills and widen your perspectives.

Consider majoring in English if it is your native language, health science, psychology, economics, business, biology, chemistry.

​​​​​​​5. Can you switch your major?

Yes, you can change majors at any time. However, students with a variety of interests should enroll in a college that offers a variety of majors. This can help to avoid the need to transfer, which can increase the amount of time needed to achieve the credit requirements of your new major. and money required to earn a degree.


Choosing a major primarily on how it would affect your bank account is not a good idea. Everyone has preconceived notions about various job paths.

Whether it’s about starving artists or wealthy lawyers, be sure you don’t fall victim to typical college major misconceptions. Select a major not with your head, but with your heart. 

Get to know yourself if you’re serious about choosing the appropriate path. Inquire with experts in the field, conduct a study, and test it out when the moment is perfect.

Only then will you be able to tell if it is the appropriate decision for you. 


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Ajah Excel is a team growth and performance expert with over nine years of experience in blogging and personal development.
He leads a team of 36 crazy, restless innovators with an enviable work culture at Silicon Africa Technologies Limited – a fast-rising tech firm from the SouthEast.
Excel is the founder of and WriterGig.
He is also the co-organizer of TEDx Ikenegbu and convener of Social Media Fest.
He is a vibrant learner who yearns to share his knowledge to educate and inspire young Africans.
He has a B.Tech in Information Management Technology with certifications in growth hacking, effective communication, leadership, team, and personal development, to mention a few.
Ajah Anayochukwu Excel is a passionate public speaker, creative writer, and brand storyteller.

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