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How to Choose a Major That Aligns with Your Aspirations and Career Goals

According to data from MyMajors.com, there are more than 1,800 educational majors offered at colleges and universities around the world. From more general areas of study to hyper-specific majors and everything in between, you certainly have your pick. 

If you’ve had one area you excel in or are passionate about, it’s likely easy for you to choose a major. For others, it’s not as simple. Perhaps you’re not sure where your interests lie, or you’re torn between two majors that appeal to you. How could you possibly narrow down your choices?

The following five factors are ones to seriously consider as you make this important decision of what your college major will be.

Determine What Drives You

In your future as a working adult, there will undoubtedly be days you want to stay in bed rather than face your responsibilities. Your day-to-day life becomes much more of a slog without any passion in it.

Think of what career path makes you feel passionate and driven. Or, more simply, what do you enjoy doing? While not every day at work is going to feel like a vacation when you have a job you love, it does make life so much more pleasurable.

The natural motivation you will feel will inspire you to wake up and give every single day your best. When you have setbacks, which is natural in any job, you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and remind yourself tomorrow is another day to do what you're best at.

Consider Interests and Values

Another option for selecting your college major is to think of your interests and values. What kinds of hobbies do you keep in your spare time? Are any of the skills you have acquired something that can be studied further and turned into a career later? If so, this may be the path you want to follow.

Your interests, like your passions, could allow you to enter a career you truly enjoy. Instead of dreading your weekdays and looking forward to only the weekend, you’ll live for every single day.

Your current values can guide you. But don’t feel like you have to hold onto them if you find they no longer suit you. As you enter college, this is your chance to identify and get to know yourself as an individual. Without the influence of your family and your friends, you can figure out what you truly enjoy on your own.

If these new values stoke your inner fires, then by all means, sit and figure out how they can be incorporated into a future career. Then pick your major from there. 

Think Long-Term

Whether you’re more practical or someone who chases their dreams, make sure you’re not blindly choosing a college major. You would hate to put four or more years of study into a topic only to find out that once you enter that career track you’re burnt out or bored.

If you have an interest or a passion that’s not firmly grounded, it probably isn’t what you want as the foundation of your career. While many people do hate their jobs, you don’t have to be one of them. Avoiding that path means being more mindful and cautious now.

Predict Career Viability

Besides your level of interest, another question you have to ask yourself is about the employability and longevity of your proposed future career.

If you want to become a professional chef, for instance, how long will it take? How hard is it to get into that job role? Will you spend years toiling at smaller restaurants waiting and hoping for a promotion that may never happen?

Many jobs have heavy barriers to entry. While some may see this as a challenge, if these barriers are going to do what they intend—keep unpassionate, unqualified people out, maybe even you—you might want to choose a job that’s more attainable.

You should also consider how long the job will be around. Look at print journalists, for example. Not that long ago, newspapers and print magazines thrived. Today, with the Internet such a major part of everything we do, lots of smaller publications have had to shutter their doors.

Technology is changing and evolving all the time, and it’s nearly impossible to predict exactly where it will go. That said, many career paths have projected growth timelines reported by reliable resources such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Review the information for your potential career path carefully.

While those are just projections and not guarantees, you may want to shy away from careers that could disappear off the map in the next five or 10 years. On a similar note, you may want to avoid small niche careers as well. It’s much harder to determine the viability of a career few people are familiar with. The key is what demand will tomorrow’s professional market have.

Assess Income Stream Probability

While money isn’t everything, what’s undoubtable is that you need an income to survive. If your career track is one in which your earning capabilities come to a dead stop a few years in, you might want to reconsider your area of study. To reach all the life milestones, such as your own home, car, and even a retirement fund someday, you need a job that pays a livable wage and then some.

Do you want to achieve your goals and start pursuing your degree? Look no further than Bryant & Stratton College. Our instructors boast real-world experience in the fields they teach in. To get more information about our program today, please visit our website.

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