10 mistakes to avoid when choosing your Major
Let's start with the first one: "What should I major in?" is not the biggest question you need to answer, rather, you should ask yourself: "What will I do with my degree once I have it?"
That's why we repeatedly say that having some sense of your career direction is the first real decision you have to make. Some people choose a major to avoid thinking about which career to pursue - for example, they choose Communications because it "unlocks many doors". Sure, but what doors? What if each door kinda sucks?
So, to concede: Thinking about your future plans is not easy, but we're going to walk you through it step-by-step, starting with the 10 common mistakes you should avoid when thinking about your Major.
1.) "This Degree will make me Rich": It's okay to say "Hey, I like to buy stuff, I want a career that helps me make a lot of money in a growing field". However, you should know that the Degree itself does not guarantee success. What is it going to take for you to earn that 6-figure income? Is it going to be enough to just walk through the door with your Finance degree in-hand?
2.) "My cousin Majored in this, so I should too": Well, that one is pretty self-explanatory. Just because he/she enjoyed it, doesn't mean you will. After all, your personalities, goals and abilities are probably different.
3.) "This Major seems fun": Just because the major is fun and interesting, doesn't mean that you'll enjoy it's career prospects. If you want to spend your life studying cool subjects, that's fine, but don't be surprised when you have to take up another job in an unrelated field to pay your bills.
4.) "Dad's choice is my choice": Believe us, dad will be more proud of you if you're able to choose something, rock it and then build a career from it. Success is different for everybody.
5.) "But I want to share classes with my friends": People change. Your friends will, too. That's part of life. Once you realize that you don't really like the Major you both decided on, you're either going to force yourself to stay (and lose your time) or switch (and lose your money). That's not an easy decision to make!
6.) "I don't like my Major, but I'm going to stick it through": So let's say you chose the wrong Major, it kinda sucks and it's not challenging you the right way, do you stick to it or do you switch? Our advice: Only switch when you have a solid reason to. Being challenged by your Major is a sign that it's going to help you grow, but if those challenges aren't motivating you or don't fit within your skill-set, then you should take a step back. Analyze your personality and skill-set, and make sure to do enough research before making a change.
7.) "I'm going to Double-Major because most people don't, and it'll make me look more advanced": Majoring in two subjects is rarely going to impress your employers. Figure out if that's a good use of your time; you can do that by checking out the educational requirements for each career path on nooreed.com; we mention certain subject areas that you can pair with your Major to get an advantage.
8.) "Undecided until I find my Eureka! Moment": So you're probably not going to miraculously wake up one day and have the right answer. So put in a little time to study your options. Start by taking a personality test, keeping an inventory of the stuff you're good at and the stuff you're not so good at, and studying the profiles of different career paths. You're guaranteed to come out with at least 3 options.
9.) "I can do law because I'm really into the show Suits": Many of the professionals we interviewed on the platform insisted: Make sure the students know that the stuff they see on TV or Netflix is just Show! Media helps us imagine things we haven't experienced yet, but you have to be realistic and consider the struggles and imperfections that are not being shown.
10.) "If I make a mistake, my life is going to be over" So let's say you mess up even after reading this list. Instead of feeling stupid or bad about it, you have to remember that it's not the end of the world. We know this because some of the professionals we interviewed ended up in careers that weren't really relevant to their majors. It can happen! What's important is that you take the proper corrective actions and believe in yourself to stand up and try again.
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