Going to college is hard enough without having to make choices that will define what you are going to do for at least a decade once you graduate. But that is the role of college, and you will have to choose a major if you want to graduate.
But choosing a major can be difficult, especially if you’re like me and do enjoy so many different hobbies and types of work. Here are a few tips that can help you figure out your major.
Ask Friends and Family
The first thing you can do to help figure out your major is to ask your friends and family what they like and don’t like about their jobs. Maybe you can even shadow a family member at their job one day.
Ivanka Trump used to go to work with her dad, Donald Trump, growing up, and it helped her understand what she likes and doesn’t like about corporate finance and real estate. It is that type of experience that can be really beneficial to figuring out what field you want to work in, and what major to choose.
Get an Internship Every Year
Another great way to figure out what to major in is to get an internship every summer you’re in college. If you really don’t have the slightest idea, try getting an internship in different fields and companies, and see what you enjoy. For example, you could start with a basic business internship your first year, and then, you could get more specialized by doing something in the international trade service. If business doesn’t excite you, maybe you switch another field, like an HR degree program if you can handle people, or engineering.
The bottom line is that college is the time to try out new things, and internships are great ways to get experience and figure out what you like to do.
Stay General Until You Know Your College Major
Finally, if worse comes to worse and you really can’t decide, stick to a general major like Business. What many people don’t realize is that most businesses have so many different types of positions, and that your major doesn’t end up mattering as much as the experience you put into your first job. Use your general major as your entrance ticket to your interview, and then work hard at your first job. This will allow you to move forward.
If you specialize yourself and don’t like what your career ends up being, you could have a much harder time switching later. It is much easier for a general business major to change careers than a bio-medical engineer.
What tips do you have on figuring out your major?
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.