December 2, 2013 | | Leave a comment Many high school students struggle with the decision of where to attend college (or even if they should pursue a college degree at all). So if you’ve finally arrived at a decision and chosen where you want to get your degree, congratulations! That’s a big achievement. However, the pressure isn’t off just because you selected the school where you’re going to spend the next four years of your life. After you’ve chosen an institution of higher learning, you need to make one more crucial decision: what are you going to major in? Here are just five of the many considerations to take into account when trying to determine the perfect college major for you: 1. Assess Your Strengths What are your academic strengths and weaknesses? If you haven’t considered this all-important question, you may have a tough time choosing an appropriate major. According to the Arkansas Traveler, students who consider only earning potential when selecting their college majors may be setting themselves up for failure. Simply put, future earnings aren’t enough to get you through those four years of studies. You need to choose something you’re actually good at. Think about your favorite high school classes before deciding upon a concentration. If you struggled through all your math and science courses in high school, then pre-med may not be the right track for you. If you don’t enjoy reading, you probably shouldn’t major in English. Assess your strengths and weaknesses honestly to bolster your odds of college—and career—success. 2. Consider Your Passions Choosing a major based on your passions is a great way to ensure you succeed at the college level. According to a recent WSJ blog, students who enter into a program of study that doesn’t excite them are more likely to get bored, skip classes and even drop out of college. By pursuing your passions, you can improve your odds of college success while enhancing your chances of actually enjoying yourself over the next four years. 3. Explore Your Options Are you among the multitude of students who enter college undecided? If so, don’t feel embarrassed. While some people know exactly what their professional futures will hold, many of us enter freshmen year without a chosen major. If you don’t know which program of study is right for you, use your first semester as an opportunity to explore your options. Take a few electives that you might not normally consider. You may find your passion lies somewhere unexpected! 4. Evaluate Your Job Prospects While assessing your strengths and interests is an essential part of choosing the right major, you should also give some thought to your job prospects upon graduation. While a liberal arts degree does open many doors, certain jobs require more specialized training. Do your research and make sure you understand the job opportunities available with a particular degree. While there’s nothing wrong with majoring in the arts, students who choose these programs of study should not expect to score a job as an engineer or accountant. Being realistic about your job options now can help you avoid disappointment later. 5. Relax and Realize You Can Change Your Mind Just because you elected to major in English doesn’t mean you have to teach Shakespeare for the rest of your life. These days, it’s common for people to change majors and even careers multiple times throughout their professional lives. If you realize on the first day of geology class that you hate rocks, don’t feel ashamed to switch tracks and take a theatre course. It might take a few tries to get it right! Ultimately, you’re the only one who can determine which major is right for you. Consider all your choices and don’t be embarrassed to change your mind a time or two. By selecting a major that is in line with your interests, strengths and future career goals, you can better your chances of both happiness and success in the years to come.