How to pick a strategic major

When people turn 18 and finish high school, they face a choice. They can either find a job and start earning money, or they can get a college degree. Over the years, roughly 111 million Americans have opted for the latter, and they’re just the ones who made it to graduation. Higher education is a popular choice for many young people, but it’s not always the easiest option. Spending four years on a degree can be a considerable challenge, especially if you don’t pick the right major. How are you supposed to know which one to go for though?


Think about employability

The main reason that degrees exist is to improve a person’s career prospects after they graduate. That’s something you should always keep in mind when it comes to choosing your major. If you don’t want your four years at college to go to waste, it’s smart to pick a subject which will benefit you in the long run.

There are plenty of majors which can help kickstart your career, and which one is right for you depends on a number of factors. If you want to be strategic, it’s always good to do some research beforehand. By identifying which industries are growing – and which ones are facing staff shortages – you can see which subjects would be most beneficial to study. This allows you to do a degree that offers great promise for future employability.

It’s about the money

Given how many majors can lead directly to full-time work, you should consider more than just employability. Money is an important factor for any job, and how much you earn differs depending on what career path you follow. Take teaching and psychiatry as an example. Excelling in either of these majors can be extremely fulfilling and keep you in work for the rest of your life. However, the difference between these two regarding the average salary is over $100,000.

While you shouldn’t base your decision solely on money, it’s vital to remember how much you’re putting into your degree. College isn’t cheap, and if you want to avoid being in debt forever, you’d be wise to think about salaries when choosing your major. It could make a huge difference in the long run.


Follow your heart

There’s a lot to be said for picking a major which will lead to a well-paid job. However, if the subject you choose isn’t something you’re passionate about, studying it won’t do you any favors. You’ll likely struggle with motivation throughout your degree, making classes and assignments far more challenging. This could severely impact your chances of leaving college with a good grade.

If you’re looking to be strategic with your choice of major, you ideally want something that’s the best of both worlds. A subject that both intrigues you and has good career prospects is more often than not the best way to go. Of course, you’ll probably struggle to find a major that ticks these boxes without any compromises. However, as long as you try to cover all the bases, things should work out in your favor.

Picking a major is probably one of the most stressful decisions you’ll ever make in your life. That’s why you should always give yourself plenty of time to sit down and think about what you’re after. Although you can change your mind later, it’s good to go into your degree knowing precisely what you want.