How to Pick a College Major

One of the most stressful things about college is deciding what you want to study. It can be incredibly daunting to try and figure out what major you want to pursue and get a job in. To help you get started, here are my top 10 tips on how to pick a major. 

1. Figure out what interests you

The first step to picking out a major is to narrow down your interests. Make a list of things that you are good at and problems that you are passionate about. If that seems overwhelming, start with the subjects that you know you don’t like. Sometimes that approach gives people a better idea of where their strengths lie. 

2. Take a variety of classes your first year

If something seems interesting to you, try out a class! Colleges often leave room for electives to give students the opportunity to try out new things. Introductory classes are a good way to start exploring a new subject. 

3. Make a list of your goals

Do you want to help people? Do you want to create something new? Writing down a list of goals and things you want to achieve in your life can be a helpful way of narrowing down majors. 

4. Get to know your advisor!

Once you’ve done some digging yourself, go to an academic advisor for some advice and a second opinion. More often than not, they can offer you more clarity or brainstorm additional ideas with you

5. Talk to other students

Older students have a unique perspective and are useful resources that you can take advantage of! They can tell you what the classes are like and you can ask them questions that you might not be able to ask an advisor. 

6. Test out different majors

If a certain field sounds interesting, try it out for a day. Whether it’s asking for a job shadow or applying for an internship, short term experience can give you a good idea as to how the job works and if it’s something that you can see yourself doing. 

7. Customize it

The great thing about majors is that you don’t have to be tied down to just one. There’s always a possibility to add a minor or a double major. I would just make sure that you talk to an advisor so they can show you what a timeline for graduation would look like.

8. Don’t pick something because it’s popular

A common mistake that students make is to pick a major because that’s what a lot of their friends are studying or they’ve heard it makes them a lot of money. Make sure that you are choosing to major in something because it’s what you like and something that interests you! 

9. Visit DePaul’s Career Center

DePaul has a great resource called the Career Center where they have special advisors for students who are still exploring majors. If you are still having trouble, I suggest to schedule an appointment with those professionals, they are very helpful and have lots of experience. 

10. Remember that your major doesn’t equal your career

While a major in a certain subject does give you a specialty experience and opportunities within that field, it’s never too late to change your mind. It is possible to graduate with a degree in one area and pursue a career in a different area, and that is okay! As long as you feel content at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

– Haedy Gorostieta