At least 80% of college students change their major throughout their college education. If you’re considering changing your major, consult with an academic advisor to learn how it will affect your financial aid and graduation requirements.
Let’s look at some of the reasons students change majors and what percentage of college students change their majors.
Top Reasons Why Students Change Majors
Here are some of the top reasons students reported when asked why they changed their major:
They were not interested in the material they were learning or studying. There was a lack of understanding of the information being taught.
Students found their previous major did not have many job opportunities after graduation and wanted something with a more attractive compensation range.
Some students said that they ignored their true calling and were pressured into registering for their previous major. This usually happens if parents pressure their children into a particular career path that might not be right for them.
They rushed into making their decision and did not evaluate all of their options. Their previous major was not enjoyable, and they needed a change.
If you read that list and see that some of these items apply to you, then maybe it’s time to explore other options.
Top majors students change out of different courses. Not everyone picks a major that they want to stay in. Here’s a list of the most common majors that students reported changing out of:
Math Programs, Natural Science Programs, Education, Humanities Programs, STEM Majors, Engineering, General Studies
These programs are not bad programs to pursue. They just happen to be some of the more common programs students choose to switch out of, so take the time to evaluate your options.
What Should I Do if I Want to Change Majors?
Each school handles major changes differently. The first step is to speak with an academic counselor and learn about your school’s specific process.
They can inform you of any extra credit hours and potential delays. College students frequently change their majors.
However, because you may have to stay in school longer, you may have to take out more money for your education.
Before making a decision, do your research and get your questions answered.
When deciding to change your major, it is critical to consider what is best for you. Click here for more information on selecting a new major.
How to Choose a Major
When you choose your major, you’re selecting an academic path and everything that goes with that path.
What you study, the professors you work with, and other students who share your major all become significant influences on how you progress through a program and position yourself for professional work or graduate school.
Of course, you want to enjoy what you study, but you also need to be strategic.
Do you have a natural gift or inclination to study a particular area? What kinds of jobs or additional education can you pursue after you graduate?
What to Consider when Choosing Your Major
Here are some important things to keep in mind as you consider academic majors:
One way to decide on which major to choose is the likelihood of securing gainful employment after you finish your program.
Aside from the fact that you might need additional education in graduate school, will you be able to land a job in the professional job market when you finish?
Will you be able to find a job where you live or will you need to relocate?
Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website for projections on job growth across the nation and by state and metro location for guidance.
Depending on the major and career path you’d like to take, graduate school might be in your future.
Earning a graduate degree helps you further develop your existing skills and gain more knowledge in a specialized area of your field, it serves as a distinguishing credential to help you stand out in a competitive job market.
If you aren’t interested in pursuing more education beyond your undergraduate program, be sure to select a major and career path that typically doesn’t require an advanced degree.
There’s plenty of information out there on earning potential and salaries for working professionals across industries.
BLS and PayScale, to name two, can help you do some quick research on common salary ranges by career and location.
If you’re looking to make some serious money after you graduate, your best course of action is to select a degree and career path that typically comes with a big salary.
You might not know right now if a particular academic subject is going to be a perfect fit. You should, however, have a significant level of interest in an academic area even if you don’t know everything that it entails.
You’ll be spending a lot of time thinking about this subject, so an appetite for exploration and a genuine curiosity about your chosen area is important.
Maybe you’re good with computers, a fantastic designer, or a fantastic musician. Whatever your talents are, it is advantageous to have some natural capacity or aptitude in your chosen field.
This will almost certainly make your undergraduate experience more enjoyable and less like you’re starting from scratch.
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