So, what do you want to be when you grow up? Choosing a college major is an intimidating task for many high school seniors. I think it is crazy to ask an 18 year old to make such an important decision. As you will read in my bio, I majored in agricultural communications. Coming from a rural background, and with a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo scholarship,
I guess it just seemed like a neat opportunity. I can honestly say that I lucked into such a great major, because I do not remember really exploring many other options. Coming from a small town of about 3,000, I was not very familiar with what was even available. You were a small business owner, doctor, lawyer, teacher or police officer.
Upon graduation, I can honestly say that I proudly accepted my diploma only to walk off the stay wondering, “Now what?” I think many high school seniors can learn from my mistake. The following four steps to choosing a college major should help you land in a field that you will love.
1. Change your mindset. Think in terms of skills instead of careers. Ask yourself, “What would I like to be able to do when I grow up?” Technology is changing our world so quickly, and job titles are changing quickly too. Do not let yourself get pigeon-holed into being trained to only do one or two things.
2. Allow yourself to study something just because you love it. I will never forget meeting a friend in college. He majored in fine art. How unpractical I thought? What is he going to do, teach? Not at all. His dream was to create jewelry. Looking back, I wish I had the guts to pursue a dream instead of a future paycheck.
3. Get a minor. If you are planning on pursuing a creative field such as art, at least get a minor in business. A huge part of being a profitable artist is knowing how to market yourself. Likewise, if you are a business major, choose a minor that gives you some experiences or a specialty. For example, if you minor in art, you could handle the marketing of an art gallery or specialize in fine art sales.
4. Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. It is loaded with information about almost every profession in the United States. It can give you an indication of the future of that career and direct you to jobs closely related to the field you are interested in doing.