“Follow your passion. It will lead you to your purpose.” — Oprah Winfrey
It’s easier said than done, Oprah. Many of us don’t know what we want to do with our lives. Choosing our major is just the first step in figuring it out, but even that can be a daunting task. Let’s break down the factors to consider when choosing a major.
Job Growth & Job Demand
Your major can offer you opportunities for multiple careers. Each career will have a different number of jobs available to you. Job growth is a percentage that shows if that number will increase or decrease in the future. This is important to see how many opportunities you will have in the future. Similarly, high job demand will mean that you will get a job easier.
Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy comfort, time and safety. Think about whether money is a high priority to you. If so, be sure to do adequate research on how much money you will make in that job. Your experience, location and negotiation skills will play a role in determining the salary you will make.
Job Satisfaction & Stress
What would you like your day-to-day life to look like? Do you want a slow-paced and easy-going job? Or how about one that keeps you on your toes? Job shadowing, volunteering and interning can provide great insight into what goes on in the actual job. But if you’d like an easier option, you can simply search up online statistics of how satisfied and stressed those employed in your desired job feel.
Passion & Personality
Now that we’ve covered all of the logistical bases, let’s move on to your passions. If you have a hard time identifying your interests, Bellevue College’s Career Center can help you through a Strong Interest Inventory (SII) assessment. Another assessment you can take is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). These tests typically cost $25 each, but Bellevue College students can take them for free. Schedule an appointment with a career specialist to get access to these.
With 80 percent of U.S. college students changing their majors, it won’t be surprising if you do, too. According to FRANK, these are a few common reasons students changed their major:
- Lack of interest in what they were learning
- Lack of understanding the material taught
- Lack of job opportunities after graduation
- Bad/unsuitable learning environment
- They were pressured into their last major
Take a deep breath and relax. There are no wrong answers in choosing a major. Take your time to reflect on it in a journal, out loud or in your head. No matter what choice you make in choosing your major, it doesn’t mean you’ll be committing to it for the rest of your life. Good luck!