When and How to Decide Your Major

By Samuel Brooks on June 22, 2018

Deciding on your major, either before or after starting your college career, can be difficult. For me, I have always known that I wanted to go into business since high school. My family has always been involved in business, whether it's entrepreneurship or working in middle to upper management of a corporation. We also have family friends that own businesses from small to large corporations. I've even owned businesses since high school. However, even though I knew that business was the general direction that I wanted to go, I still struggled with deciding on a degree.

Here are four strategies that helped me decide my major and feel confident about my choice.

Find an Adviser

To begin, it's important to find an adviser. This individual is experienced, knows you and your interests well. Therefore, he or she can provide you with a clear direction. Also, this person doesn't necessarily have to work for the college or university to which you're interested in applying.

When I first started college, I decided to attend a local community college. I met with an adviser and figured out a major. Here's where the difficulty began—every time I went into the office to meet with an adviser, I met with a different person. So, due to that situation, I changed my major three times. With that said, I ultimately made course decisions myself while getting minor advice from my father and my mentor. Regardless if you decide to attend a community college or a university, make sure you get the advisor's business card so that you can stay in contact with the individual and are not being thrown in multiple different directions when it comes to deciding on a major.

Research Your Career Interests

When getting advice from your adviser, it's important to research your interests and passions to see what would be the best option to pursue—marketing/advertising, sports, photography, journalism, management, health care, ministry, working with children, music, film—while at the same time finding out basic background information such as income, types of occupations that'll accept the degree(s) and academic requirements to name a few.

Create Pros and Cons Chart

Once you decide on two or three potential career paths, you should create a pros and cons chart for each one. Focus on the one that has the most pros. Personally, I absolutely hate math and science. Don't get me wrong, I can do the work at a very basic level, but I can't stand either one of them. Hence, why I decided not to major in anything math- or science-related. However, I chose the marketing route because I do enjoy writing, creativity, conducting research, web and logo design, brand and image building and working with social media.

Pray

Proverbs 16:9 says “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” Therefore, it's important that we pray and ask for God's guidance and that His will is ultimately done. I will admit that I never did this when first deciding on what major for which I should register and where to go to college. The reason being I did not decide to become a Christian until two years prior to going back to school, hence, transferring to Cornerstone University. Looking back on it, I regret not starting the habit of praying sooner. My advice: start praying sooner rather than later and make it a habit!

The Takeaway

To conclude, deciding on a major can be an overwhelming and difficult task. This is why I recommend finding an individual to act as your adviser, researching your career interests, creating a pros and cons chart and, most importantly, praying.

Another resource that I recommend checking out is our Focus 2 Apply, which is designed to help you determine what major might fit you well.

Category: Choosing a Major