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Wine's avatar

How do you choose a college major?

Asked by Wine (636points) January 23rd, 2013

I’ve always had a hard time making decisions in general. I need to know the pros and cons of each option, reassurance from others, and lots of time to make sure I’m making the right choice. Obviously this makes it difficult for me to choose a major. I’m currently enrolled in classes that revolve around a business major, but it was only an idea I had when talking to my advisor.
I don’t know what I’m good at, I can’t think of any specific classes that stuck out to me in high school, and I have yet to take an assessment test.
What are the pros and cons of a business major? What can I do with it?
All I know is that I can picture myself working in an office and dressing professionally. I have to make a decision soon and any advice regarding how to be sure of a decision like this is greatly appreciated.

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6 Answers

livelaughlove21's avatar

Well there’s more to a career in business than working in an office and dressing up. The best thing for you to do is research careers, not majors. Find something you’re interested in and pick a major that will get you there.

A business degree is very broad, similar to a degree in psychology or sociology. I’m not saying you can’t get a job with a degree in business, but it’s always a good idea to have an area of focus. Pick a minor or double major in something more specific, such as public relations or hotel management. There’s no way anyone can list all of the paths you could take with a business degree. Like I said, it’s very broad.

My best advice is to not pick a major/career for the money. I made this mistake and learned that life is too short to hate your job. Do something you love and you’ll be successful.

If you do have money on the brain, know that the jobs bringing in the big money in business require an MBA, so think about whether you’re interested in graduate school.

Chances are you’ll change your major at least once in college, and that’s normal. Take a few classes in different fields and see what you like. Google “career aptitude test” and see if you get any interesting results.

You didn’t tell us about any interests you have, so that’s really all the advice I can give.

Good luck!

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Advisors love to recommend accounting, engineering, and architecture courses. This is because such majors are marketable—students can actually find jobs in those fields, immediately after college and without advanced degrees.

The problem is, most people aren’t suited to learning accounting, engineering, and architecture, nor would they enjoy (or even succeed) as accountants, engineers,and architects.

Are you in your first year of college? Second year? You mention that you’ll need to declare a major soon.

Of the classes that you’ve taken so far, which one really excited you? Which subjects seem to be easy for you to grasp and do well with. I’m not suggesting that you weren’t challenged in those courses, but that you “took to” the material and found learning to be a rewarding pleasure. That might be a good place to start.

wundayatta's avatar

It doesn’t really matter in the long run. A business major doesn’t guarantee you a business job. It doesn’t rule you out from an art career. If it is convenient, then do it. It’s not that big a decision. It isn’t as important as you’re making it out to be.

fremen_warrior's avatar

Short answer: very carefully, and preferably while sober ;-)

YARNLADY's avatar

If you are in it for the money, this article suggests that Business Administration is the #1 choice.

I suggest you consider what you are good at and what you enjoy. Do take some career tests and discuss with your school career counselor.

nicole29's avatar

As others have said, your specific major doesn’t really matter. Just having a degree with a specific major isn’t good enough anymore.. and the degree you have doesn’t necessarily dictate what job you’ll get. So for now, maybe you should stick with business and try to get involved in as many opportunities as you can. Internships, shadowing, clubs, random classes that sound interesting – explore lots of options. If you find something else you love, or are more interested in – switching majors is fairly easy and involved filling out a few forms.

Be careful about choosing a major that you’re not interested in, however. My roommate just chose pharmacy as her major, because it pays extremely well and job prospects are great. After the first few months of pre-pharmacy classes, she switched majors to architecture – because the only class she enjoyed that first semester was an architecture elective. Now she’s going to graduate with a degree in architectural studies and minor in studio arts. (Although, @PaulSadieMartin, I’m not so sure that architecture is a great career choice anymore/right now.. She is going to have to go on to graduate school to be able to make her degree of any use.)

Any health science, any sort of mathematics/accounting and engineering are the way to go :)

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