Six Tips for Choosing a College Major

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to pick a college major that develops the skills I already enjoy using. For example, if you major in journalism, you could very well end up working in the media. Or you could use your writing and editing skills to start a career in advertising, public relations, or marketing along with many other industries. This all means you can use the skills you learn as a journalism major and apply them to a variety of jobs and fields.  

Choosing your college major is a big decision, and it’s completely normal to feel unsure about which direction you should go. While you should consider advice from your parents and guidance counselor, the decision of what to major in is entirely up to you. What you choose to study will impact what kind of jobs you qualify for, so it’s important to pick something that you enjoy and are passionate about.  

To help steer you in the right direction, we’ve put together a list of guiding prompts that can help you determine which path you may want to take. 

  • Explore your interests: What are your favorite school subjects, and is there one you feel passionate about? Is there a specific skill you use in school that you enjoy?
  • Consider your strengths: Think about what you’re good at—both inside and outside the classroom. Is there a particular subject or hobby you excel in?
  • Research career options: Learn about different careers that interest you and find out what types of majors or degrees are required for those fields.
  • Talk to professionals: A lot of people love to talk about their jobs. Talk to people who work in the fields that interest you—they can provide insight on choosing a major that aligns with their career path.
  • Get advice: Talk to your parents, teachers, guidance counselor, and other people who know you well. They can offer advice and help you identify your strengths and traits that could help in choosing your major.
  • Keep an open mind: Be open to exploring new subjects and fields that you may not have considered before. College is a time for self-discovery, so don’t be afraid to try something new.

What did you discover after going through these prompts, and did one subject, skill, or hobby stick out to you? If you’re still feeling uncertain, take some time to consider your options and the advice from those who know you well. And remember, you can change your major or pursue a career that is not directly related to your major if you decide to go in a different direction. The most important thing is to trust your gut and choose a major that allows you to pursue what you are passionate about.  

For more resources and information on preparing for college, visit the K12 College Prep Center.

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