Should You Switch Your Major?

Elizabeth Hoyt

August 01, 2017

Should You Switch Your Major?
Your major is the foundation of your career. Choose one you enjoy and are passionate about!
Sometimes, when we’re engrossed in whatever it is we’re doing, it’s hard to see the warning signs. In fact, it’s natural to ignore red flags that may be right in front of our faces! Finding a method that allows us to step back and evaluate what’s really happening is the key. It’s not always easy, but everything becomes clearer when broken down into simpler terms.
When it comes to evaluating your college career path, examine the following thought points to see if you should be considering a major switch.
Red Flag: You Don’t Find Any of Your Classes Interesting
This may be the biggest red flag of all! If you don’t like any of the courses you’re taking that pertain to your major, chances are you’re not going to like a career in the field, either.
There will undoubtedly be a course or two you enjoy less than others, but when you’re finding all of the courses related to your major uninteresting, it’s time for a switch.
Red Flag: Most of Your Interests Don’t Relate to Your Major
Basically, your major should relate to your passions within life. Consider what it is you love to do and see if your major coincides.
For example, if you love artistic and creative endeavors in life, becoming a mathematician is probably not your calling.
Red Flag: You Can’t See Yourself in the Related Job Field
Take time to consider what the day-to-day job requirements and tasks look like and consider if it’s something you can see yourself doing – and enjoying – on a daily basis. If you hate public speaking but you’re going into sales, that doesn't really make sense to pursue a degree in a related field. Picture performing the job tasks associated with the careers your major prepares for. Does it seem like something you’d enjoy? Would you thrive in that environment? If not, then it’s likely time to reevaluate your focus!
Red Flag: Money is Your Only Motivator
While there's nothing wrong with seeking out a career path that will likely result in financial success, it's more important to focus on career success instead. Keep in mind that you will likely become more successful in a field that both suits your talents and you will enjoy. If you seek career success, the money will naturally follow. Remember, no amount of money is worth pursuing a degree and, ultimately a career, that you don't enjoy.
Red Flag: You’re Constantly Seeking Alternatives
If you’re seeking out other opportunities, it likely means that you’re not content with your current major track. Exploring is one thing - being unhappy is another. However, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out other options – it’s a great way to discover what you really should be doing. Take some courses in different topics that interest you to explore your options. Once you find one you love, consider switching to that area of study.
Red Flag: You Doubt You’ll Get a Job in the Field
While money isn't everything, it’s important to have realistic expectations regarding the job prospects upon graduation. Are jobs available in the field or will it be very difficult to secure a position? If the job market looks grim, it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice doing what you love. You can always broaden your focus so that it can relate to more fields and, as a result, more job opportunities.
Red Flag: You Chose Your Major Arbitrarily
If you choose your major simply because you had to pick one, that’s not a very good reason to stick with it. Perhaps you’re lucky and you’ve decided it’s the right major for you. But, if not, you don’t have to continue to pursue it. Explore the other options out there and find a field you’re really passionate about and then switch your major.

What other ways can students determine if they have the right major?

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