Here at ClassesAndCareers.com, we get a lot of questions about college and all the terms that come with it. Some of these can be difficult to understand at first, but, with a little research, they make perfect sense.

For example, if you have requested more information about schools online, you have probably been asked about your “academic major,” “college major,” or “major of choice.” If you didn’t know what this meant, you were probably a little confused. You might have even stopped filling out the form.

Have no fear. We have a very simple explanation here about majors and what they mean for you. Here goes:

A college major is a specialized program that prepares you for your specific career.

Let me give you a little more detail.

When you first start college, you usually take general courses like English or Math or Science, stuff that everyone should know something about. After getting through these classes, however, it’s time to start taking classes that give you the understanding and skills you need to do well in your chosen career. These classes are usually bundled into a major, a program that basically says, “If you want to become _______, you need to take these classes and complete these requirements.” Every major is connected to a career, or set of careers.

Of course, you need to have a career in mind before you choose a major.

Colleges will usually have dozens of these majors for students to choose from. Students who want to get into business will be able to choose from Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, or Marketing majors. Science students might choose from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Electrical Engineering. All of these majors are designed to give students exactly the training they need to start their chosen careers. Usually, students will have to choose and complete at least one major to graduate, although some ambitious students will take two majors at the same time.

Every major has its own office that you can contact or visit to learn more about their major requirements, like how long it will take and which classes are required. Some majors will have limited space, so you’ll have to apply and see if you get accepted. Other majors are open to whomever wants to take them. The only way to know is to contact them and find out.

To help you understand this, let’s imagine that John Smith wants to be become a business analyst, but he’s always been interested in living in Asia. He starts college by taking the general English and Math classes, but, knowing that he wants to get into business analysis, he looks into the majors on campus and finds one for Finance, one for Business Operations, and another for Management. But because of his interest in living in Asia, he also looks up majors like International Studies, Japanese, and Korean.

After visiting with advisors in each of these majors and checking out their major requirements, John decides that a Management major combined with an International Studies major is just right for his career plans. Now all he has to do is find out how to get into these majors and make sure that he’s taking the right classes to get ready.

Hopefully, this has helped clear things up for you. If you still have any questions about majors, tell us in the comments below! We’re happy to help.

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