Many people struggle to choose a major. Students often worry that if they choose the wrong major they will be pigeon-holed for the rest of their lives. It is true that some careers have a path that really should be followed and due to the expensive nature of the degree it is hard to become a psychiatrist or a pilot if you have spent the last 3 years studying film studies. If you’re the sort of person that knows this is the path for them at a young age, count yourself lucky.
For the rest of us, it’s is not all bad news. Many jobs will take a variety of majors. You will often find a philosophy graduate in an advertising agency or a sociology major studying for accountancy. Most jobs just want to know that you are capable of getting a degree, that you have the required stamp of approval.
A few of us will find ourselves wanting to switch majors during our stint at university. A study by National Association of Colleges and Employers found that only 66% of students chose a major based on their career plans which means the rest of them kinda just picked one because they had to.
It is important not to torture yourself by spending your time at university on a course you can’t stand. Even if your preferred subject isn’t in the top 10 best paying jobs, it doesn’t mean that you will not be successful and make money doing something else.
Statistics about average salaries often do not equate to real life so if you are planning on choosing a major based on that, you’re gunna have a bad time.
Still worse is choosing a major because someone else (ie. Your parents) wants you to as a million joyless Indian and Japanese accountants will tell you. It is tough to push yourself the necessary amount when you are not choosing your destiny.
It is important to assess whether the major you want to change to matches up with your career goals. And if you have no idea what career you want to do then pick something you will really excel in. If you work hard in something like fine art or philosophy and get a high mark a whole range of careers will be open to you.
Transferable skills are what is needed for those dillydalliers. And if you know your industry then, for God’s sake, pick a relevant degree to do.
If you are on a scholarship or your employer is footing the bill for your education you may have a problem switching majors so you will need to talk to them. And if you parents are likely to pull the plug on your education if you switch to a major they don’t like, you have problems beyond the scope of this article.
Many successful people have chosen majors, switched majors or done a combination degree. Other successful people have known exactly what they want to do from teenagerhood and chosen every degree and diploma towards that goal. What does this prove? That success is really not dependent on your major.
I venture that most of us know what we want to do. Those of us who ‘don’t know’ are actually covering for the fact that they might not be able to do what they really want to. I know I did for a few years. So screw what anyone else thinks and take the plunge and go for that job or course you always dreamed of. Best advice I got on this matter.