Choosing a Major (Tips)

Your student’s choice of major:

  • should be realistic
  • should be enjoyable to him/her
  • should be something in which he/she can do well
  • can but does not have to be career-related
  • can be complimented with a marketable minor


  • Seventy-five percent of college students change their major at least once.
  • There is a direct relationship between the college major and job upon graduation for only about 1/2 of all college graduates. Later in a graudate’s career, the job is even less likely to be related to the his or her major.
  • Employers are more concerned with the skills a candidate possesses than with the candidate’s choice of major.

When the student is deciding, parents should:

  • be patient and supportive, but raise important questions and issues:
    • “What classes do you enjoy most?”
    • “Have you talked to your advisor or the Career Center about choosing a major? What was their advice?”
    • “Which majors are you considering and why?”
    • “Do you think you’re likely to do well in the major you’re considering?”
  • encourage open discussion about majors/careers and the student’s interests
  • not be judgmental about the student’s choices
  • not make the decision for the student

Source: Harris, Marcia B. and Jones, Sharon L. The Parent’s Crash Course in Career Planning


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