EDUCATION | Education tips

The Do’s and Don’ts of Choosing Your Major!

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Choosing your major is a big part of the university experience. Your major sets you out on a course towards a more limited number of career options. So, choose wisely using the do’s and don’ts of choosing your major in your undergraduate degree!

The Do’s of choosing your major

Make sure it fits your interests 

One of the most important tips when choosing a major is to choose one based on your interests first! Picking something that you’ll enjoy studying will ensure that you’ll put in more effort into your studies, and thus get higher marks! It’ll also keep you as happy as possible while you’re studying for all those exams and writing paper after paper.

Make sure it prepares you for a career

Another tip is to do some job market research. Entering a career field with very little demand is going to be much more challenging for you, so try to choose a major that will lead to an in-demand career. For example, the technology sector is in demand everywhere, and the green sector has many in-demand jobs in Canada. But so do other sectors, so be sure to do some research.

Check out the earning potential 

credit: Payscale

Another one from the list of our do’s and don’ts is to check out the salary potential! Although money isn’t everything, it is still important especially if you want to have a particular type of lifestyle. If the salary is too low for your needs, maybe consider other options.

You can take a look at average salaries through Neuvoo or Payscale.

Seek advice from academic advisors 

Finally, another must-do of picking your major is to seek outside advice! Your academic advisors and co-op advisors do have some knowledge about the labour market. So, why not ask them about a few major options and listen to their opinions and advice?

The Don’ts of choosing your major

Don’t blindly follow your friends 

The first don’t of choosing your major is avoid following your friend’s paths. Just because your friend is enrolling in a kinesiology major, doesn’t mean that major will be right for you. Although it can be fun to have your friend in classes with you, and studying the same things as you, it’s not helpful if you end up disliking the major. Additionally, if you’re asking your friends in your major to help all the time, are you really learning? A better choice would be to pick based on your passions and figure out how to succeed without excess help from others.

Don’t choose based on a romanticized view 

So, major options tend to be very romanticized thanks to digital media. Take surgery for example. This profession has been highly romanticized on “Grey’s Anatomy” as well as other shows, and as such gives people a false impression of what being a surgeon is really like. You may think to become a surgeon will be everything you’ve dreamed of because of what it looks like on television, but then, in reality, you may find you dislike working with blood and guts for many hours at a time.

So, be sure you aren’t picking based on a view created by the media! Instead, do your own research into what a day in that job is really like.

Don’t wait too long to make a choice

Another don’t is waiting for a long time to choose. Waiting too long to make a choice concerning your major will only lengthen the time you’re in school. This means you’ll be paying more than you needed to for your bachelor’s degree, which isn’t the best feeling. In your first year, try to explore many classes and then pick a pathway around the second year. This should leave you lots of time to satisfy major requirements and graduate in 4 – 5 years.

Don’t let authority figures decide for you

The final don’t is to not let an authority figure choose for you. For example, maybe your parents really want you to be a lawyer. But, you find the subject of law boring and tedious and would much prefer something in the sciences instead. So, trust your gut here and go into the sciences! Otherwise, you may end up in a major you really dislike all because you wanted to please your parents.

Choosing a major is a key part of the university experience. It’s probably one of the most important choices you’ll make while you’re there. So get started towards picking a major by using the do’s and don’ts we’ve provided!

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