For many students, choosing a major can be even more difficult than choosing which college to attend. On the surface, indecision is understandable: after all, your major determines what career you’ll be in for the rest of your life, right? In reality, the specific degree program you graduate with has very little effect on your career opportunities post-graduation – with a few exceptions. Obviously, a student interested in becoming a Certified Public Accountant will need to major in a degree program related to that profession such as Finance, Business Administration, or Accounting.
Would you believe that an individual who earns an undergraduate degree in liberal arts can easily pick up a few science-related credits to qualify for medical school? Likewise, an individual who earns a degree in molecular biology would have little difficulty qualifying for law school. Even if you don’t intend on getting a post-graduate degree, it would make little difference whether you have a Bachelor’s in English or a Bachelor’s in Communications if you decide to apply for a job as a Public Relations specialist.
When To Declare Your Major
Since virtually everyone would agree that college, even online college, is more about meeting new people and gaining new experiences than preparing for a specific career, the best time to declare your major would be when you decide what sort of career you’d like to pursue.
Really, it’s that simple. According to this article on NYtimes.com, about 80% of college students will change their major at least once in their college career. Our educational system is set up to be flexible for a reason: deciding on the “perfect” career path is tough, especially during a time in your life when new experiences could point you in a new direction at any moment.
Still, it’s good to have at least a general idea of what you’d like to major in by your sophomore year. If you wait much longer, you run the risk of having to attend college for an additional semester or two to take all of the required courses. Choose your major carefully. According to this news article, picking the wrong college major can be an expensive mistake.
Do You Need Help Choosing A Major?
There are a number of ways to get a better idea of what you’d like to major in while you still have time to change your mind. Sometimes simply taking a few minutes to make a list of careers that catch your interest can point you in the right direction. If that doesn’t work, take some time to “shadow” people you know that have careers you may be interested in. A day at your future office may just be the push you need to make a commitment.
Regardless of what well-intentioned friends and family may be telling you, there’s no big rush to declare your major. Enter online college as undeclared major and take a variety of classes. Maybe one of the courses you take, or one of the new friends you meet, will help you make a career decision you can be happy with. Remember: with a few exceptions, virtually any major you declare will give you a better chance at getting the job you love after college.