Major mishaps

Autumn Evans, News Editor

Picking a major can be a big decision for freshmen. It may feel like you’re choosing a career path, and once you’re on it, you might be afraid to change it, even if you’re unhappy with your major.

Well, it turns out picking a major is not quite as major as it seems, especially if you’re still in your first year or two of college. National statistics vary, but they generally report that anywhere from 50 to 75 percent of students will change their major at least once. Some, like me, go the extra mile and shoot for three times!

So why isn’t it as important as it seems?

Well, a study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last year showed that about 62 percent of American college graduates had jobs that required undergraduate degrees, but only about 27 percent were in a field that matched their major.

Also important to remember is that a lot of degrees have the same general education requirements. So as long as you’re taking those early on, even if you change your major, you’ll still have some of your required courses finished.

Some majors, like nursing, engineering or education have more strictly defined curriculums and related jobs. It’s easier to switch out of programs like that than into them, but if you’re determined, don’t let the extra work stop you.

But what if you’re in your junior or senior year and decide you want to switch? By that point, you might end up needing an extra semester or two to fulfill all of your requirements. But if you can afford it, go for it! Check out different minors available, too. You might be able to put those credits from your old major to use by picking up a minor in a related field.

Plus, if you plan on continuing on to graduate school, you aren’t necessarily restricted to your undergraduate field of study. There are more options out there than it may seem.

But when you’re picking a major, there are some things you should avoid doing.

Don’t make the choice based on current job market trends. As mentioned before, you might end up in an unrelated field anyway. More importantly, the job market can change a lot over four years; a job in high demand today might be hard to get into in a few years. And new jobs are being created all the time; your future career might not even exist yet!

The rule of thumb when choosing your major is this: choose something that interests you, and that you enjoy. There are plenty of jobs that just want you to have a degree, period. If you’re a hard worker, there will be a job out there for you.

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