Episode 62- A Major Discussion
Apr 08, 2021
Let’s talk about a major issue.
- Your student tells you they don’t think they are in the right major.
- They need to apply but don’t know which major to apply to.
- They are failing classes.
So what is a parent to do when your student wants to change majors? What does that do to timeline? Is there a way to save the current and add a minor/concentration/certificate in the other discipline that will allow them to complete on time.
Not just “many” but a majority–a whopping 80% of college students will change their majors at least once. So is it worth switching majors? Well, it entirely depends on your individual situation. Switching majors might be the right move into a new field of study, or it might set you back a few semesters. Talk through the idea with your academic advisor before making any permanent decisions, and make sure you weigh all the pros and cons.
- Do some homework.
- Trust your gut. If you hate to write, being a novelist, reporter, editor, etc are probably not places you’ll want to start.
- Consider whether you're ready for college. If you don't have a major or a goal in mind, college is an expensive way to find yourself. Think about taking a gap year, working full-time, or completing your general education requirements at a community college before committing to a four-year degree
- Find out how much time you have to declare a major. This varies widely from college to college. Some schools require that you decide upon a major by the time that you set foot inside your first class. Other schools may variably give you one year, two years, or more to declare.
- Ask for advice. Question teachers and counselors about careers, majors, and the college industry. Make sure to also speak with people already in your circle: your friends, parents, and relatives. These people may be able to give you valuable advice about your strengths and weaknesses. Don't choose a major just because someone tells you to, and make sure that you take every suggestion with a grain of salt – but don't be afraid to look for inspiration.
- Speak with people who have already completed certain majors. Ask what they would do differently if starting again.
- Talk to a professional adviser. They can help answer questions about any department that you're considering joining.
- Ask them or have them reflect on these questions. They should do some journaling and actually write these answers down. There is a change in the brain when they are synthesizing the answers that occurs during the handwritten process.
- What were my academic strengths in high school?
- What career fields interest me?
- What industries are growing, and what majors can lead to careers in those industries?
- Which majors maximize my return on investment and earning potential?
- Do I want to go to grad school?
- Do your research. If you're going to choose a college major, you'll need to know your options. Inform yourself about the various majors that you might possibly choose. Read about every major that sounds interesting. Read about specific jobs and how people got them.
- Online assessments to help your student uncover the major that fits them best.
- Now they need to do the work to uncover what their major should be.
Select major and career and this gives you helpful insight. (Visit this page for You Tube viewers.)
Welcome to your tool for career exploration and job analysis!
- O*NET OnLine has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more!
- This quiz got me pretty good.
40 Question-WHAT SHOULD I MAJOR IN?
Career Quiz 24 questions
Think about your purpose. Ask yourself where you want to be in five years. Consider the sort of life that you want to live. What is important to you?