Thoughts on Picking a Major

Picking a Major

We spend a lot of time discussing the importance of picking a major. In fact, we have an entire program developed towards it. We state some pretty heavy stats and figures on our home page as to the impact a major can have over your lifetime. What we haven’t done is always provided a clear image as to all the facets that go into picking a major. Thankfully our friends over at Online School Center have. Within this infographic, they dive into many aspects that go into the decision-making process.

Picking a major

Their infographic outlines some very good statistics however we wanted to help round out some of the advice that should be given.

First, it is extremely important to match your degree to your personality. All too often we get pushed into degrees because that is what our parents did, that is what earns the most income, has the most potential, or a particular course was interesting to you. A student has to think beyond that. It is why a large part of our program focus’ on testing your personality and fitting it with the available majors out there.

Second, understanding what the economic needs are going to be for the next 10 years is critical. Majoring in Philosophy where unemployment is into the double digits (10.8%) doesn’t make much economical sense when you may be paying $60,000 for your degree. That is why we force people to take a look at the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) report which has 10-year projections!

Third, understand what the degree actually does job wise. Does anyone really know what a physics major does after school? Yes, you can work at NASA or SpaceX but those are 2 relatively small markets to be aiming for. Did you know often times they get hired by huge tech firms to work alongside engineers bringing out some of the most advanced technology we consume? Or that they go into the medical field and work on developing advanced medical equipment? These are things we simply aren’t taught in high school and it is incredibly important to understand. Most importantly, what is a day in the life of those roles like? Again, since freshmen year (let alone any year in school) doesn’t grant exposure or answer these questions – we built a program that did. We discuss these topics so we are making informed decisions before students and parents put down thousands of dollars on their education.

Fourth, understand the potential income routes. Does it really make sense to spend $100,000 on your education to earn a degree to become a teacher that only earns $35,000 a year? We don’t think so. By going through this process you can now understand what income expectations will be when you exit school which allows you to adequately curb the cost of your schooling. You can do this through various means (targeting the right school, using community college, understanding the financial aid process etc) and it is our goal to help teach you how to do this. However, if you don’t go through our program, at least we have offered you a framework for figuring out your major.

Hopefully, you learned a little something about the importance of picking a major early in the college decision-making process! While it is our hope you go through our College Planning Solution Course , if you don’t go through our program, at least we have offered you a framework for figuring out your major.

July 17, 2017

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