Many students go into college stressing over their choice of major and what it means for their future. It’s not even uncommon for a student to begin having second thoughts about their course of study two, three, even four years into it.
But while choosing a major is an important decision that every student makes, it isn’t actually as life-determining a choice as students are more and more being led to believe. In fact, many recent studies like one conducted by the College Placement Council reveal that the majority of college graduates subsequently find successful employment in fields not directly related to their undergraduate majors.
Here are five more major misconceptions put to rest.
A few intro courses will determine your interests
This is a dangerous misconception that leads many students down the wrong path. While intro classes do pertain to a certain field, they don’t say much, if anything,
about what it means to actually major in the subject. This part takes research. To find out what a major is really all about, you must talk with informed individuals like students in that study and faculty in the department, who will be happy to assist you. Also, obtaining a course catalogue is important for seeing the entire coursework of a particular major and what each class demands.
You can take your GE’s first and think about it
This strategy only works with a lot of luck. Without it, your GE’s are bound to be underutilized, leaving you with extra classes to take for your major that you could have
taken to fulfill a GE and a major prerequisite, or classes that you didn’t need to take in the first place. Deciding your major should be a relatively urgent decision so that you can
strategically plan your classes around it. And not only that, but you’ll want to use some GE’s to add variety to your later years when you’re taking pretty much exclusively major courses.
Your major determines your next step
Employers and post-grad programs don’t necessarily need to see that you’ve spent the past four years studying exactly the task you’ve applied to do. Really, your major should be what is most conducive to you staying interested and motivated so that come job or post grad application time, you can show you have a well-rounded education and be enthusiastic about your degree in, say, an interview setting.
You’ll never learn about anything else
The truth is, every major out there is somehow intertwined with the next, from t
he calculation and weighing of ideas that humanities students do, to the communication of theories that scientists and engineers must be able to execute. Having a primary area of study that you enjoy will naturally lead you to acquire the skills not traditionally associated with it out of sheer desire to master every aspect of it. This passion
can even lead you to pick up a minor in a different field or double major in two complementary fields.
As much as statistics tell us that some majors simply have no value anymore, they really can’t predict the future. And as new industries constantly emerge and jobs that have never existed are created, the jobs that are said to be in demand your freshman year may not even be mentioned as such your graduating year. Getting an education you’re interested in rather than one statistics, history, or your particular environment tells you is best will prevent you from spending years taking classes you don’t enjoy, or worse, stuck with a job you don’t enjoy.
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