The major you choose for your college career can have a significant impact on what kind of classes you will be taking, what kind of career paths you will be looking at, and how much money you will be making once you graduate.

What is a Major?


Simply put: your major is the field of study in which you will receive a degree. The classes that make up the major curriculum are usually somewhat varied in the first year or two of your studies, but become much more focused on more advanced major-specific classes in your junior and senior years.

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Why is Choosing the Right Major Important?


Your chosen major can open the door to a number of jobs that many other people would have no chance of getting because of their lack of knowledge in a certain field. If you know what kind of a career you want before you even start applying to colleges, choosing the right major should be relatively easy. Many soon-to-be college students are not sure about what exactly they want to do after they graduate, but they may have a general idea. These types of people would probably do well with picking a fairly broad major that could lead to a number of different positions within their chosen field.

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What if You do not Know what Type of Career You Want?


A fairly substantial number of high school graduates, and even college freshmen and sophomores, have no strong feelings towards starting a specific career. Most colleges will allow you to remain undecided up until the end of your sophomore year of school, after which you will need to declare a major.
Most guidance counselors will tell you to take a wide variety of classes early on in order to get a taste of everything. You may find that you enjoy certain class material more than others, which can be a good indicator of what type of career you might enjoy. The nice thing is that every major requires quite a few elective classes, meaning that even classes not related to your chosen major will still count towards the credit hour requirement for graduation.

Is it Easy to Switch Majors?


Nearly every college will let you switch majors whenever you want, it is just a matter of talking with a guidance counselor. Realistically, it is much easier to switch majors early in your college career as opposed to when you are an upperclassman. Changing majors after you start your junior year probably means that some of the classes you completed in the past will not count towards your graduation requirements. This can result in a waste of time and money, as well as having to take classes in the summer or in-between semesters if you still want to graduate in four years.

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How do Employers Look at Majors?


Some hiring managers may not care what kind of major you have, just that you have a degree. In other cases, your major can be one of the biggest determining factors into whether or not you get hired for a particular job or receive certain internships. Generally, an employer will look more favorably on an applicant who majored in that business’ line of work as opposed to someone with the same degree who majored in something completely different. Some job applicants may even require that you majored in a specific field, which can shrink the hiring pool quite a bit, making it easier for you to stand out.