Factors That Shouldn’t Influence Your College Major Decision

November 24, 2011 Category: College Tips

The journey through the college years are experienced by the student and the student alone. However, all too often students find themselves living out the dreams and aspirations of everyone else but themselves. Choosing the wrong major or being confused as to what to major in happens too frequently at colleges and universities across the country. If you’re thinking about which major to declare (as well as what schools to apply to), you’ll want to make sure the following factors do not distract you from making a choice that is yours and yours alone.

Your Parents/Family

Most parents already have visions of what they’d like to see their son/daughter do for a living as soon as they are born. However, it is vital that students not allow their parents or other family members to dictate this part of their education on their behalf. Choosing a college major because you were positively influenced or want to follow in a family member’s footsteps is one thing–it’s quite another to be coaxed or even forced into a college major because it’s what your family believes you should get into.

Because some parents tend to throw the guilt trip factor into the equation, students should be prepared to have a sit down and explain what college major they want to pursue, what led to this decision and an explanation as to why it is important that they receive the family’s support, even if they do not agree. Even if your decision causes waves, the end results will be well worth sticking to your guns.

Your Friends

College MajorsJumping on the bandwagon when it comes to things your friends are into is fun but when it comes to college majors, avoid choosing something simply because your friends are all heading in that direction. Attending the same school or being in the same major should not be a priority–declaring a major that will be useful to you after graduation should be at the top of your list. Your real friends will understand and will be there rooting for you every step of the way.

Earning Potential

What college student doesn’t hope to find themselves in a job that makes tons of dough? While making a great income is desirable, do not base your college major solely on this factor. What counts more is a major that will lead to a position that offers job security in the long term. What good is a degree and the skill set for a job that makes a lot of money if no one is hiring in that field?

It Looks Cool on TV

Thanks to the popularity of shows like Law & Order and CSI, the number of students choosing majors in the hopes of becoming employed in such careers has skyrocketed. But what many fail to do is distinguish the difference between what they see on TV and what a real person in that profession does. Move past the Hollywood glamor and do research to find out exactly what that major entails, as well as what to expect in terms of job outlook.

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