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Six hints for selecting a major in college

September 11, 2013

Picture this: you’re a senior in high school, you’ve applied to college, sent in your acceptance letter and have no idea what you want to do for a living. Sound familiar? You’re not alone.

While it may be easy to select the most popular major or the one that pays the most, you risk entering a field that you hate or dropping out before you can get that far. These simple steps will get you on the fast track to narrowing down the right fit for you.

Let your interests be your guide.Think about what you love to do on the weekends or any special hobbies you may have. These are good indicators as to possible degree programs. Whether it’s taking photos or flight lessons, you can probably turn it into a career.

Ask people what they studied in college.Don’t be afraid to talk to those around you who love what they do for a living or who have jobs that interest you to get ideas for your own career path. Chances are they are going to be enthusiastic to discuss their college experience.

Take an aptitude test to see what careers are a best fit with your skills and attributes. These tests can help you narrow down your interests and discover interesting degrees and careers you might not otherwise consider.

Talk to your high school guidance counselor. These are the people with direct access to your academic records. Make an appointment to discuss where you have succeeded and make note of any trends.

Begin college as an exploratory student.It’s perfectly acceptable to enter college unsure of what you want to select as your major. Exploratory students get to dip their toe into several areas of interest to help them decide on a degree program. At ASU, undecided students go through a nationally recognized program that is so successful, nearly 80 percent choose a major by their sophomore year and never change their mind.

Test run your ideas by volunteering or getting an internship. The best way to learn if you really love something is by trying it out. Securing an internship or volunteering will allow you to imagine yourself in this role. If you love it, great! If you don’t, think about why it didn’t work. For example, maybe you love the fashion industry but would rather work in marketing than making the actual clothes.

Need a little extra help? Talk to one of our admissions representatives today.