Picking a major in college is one of the most important and meaningful decisions you can make as a student.
In a way, picking a major is like getting on a bus ride.
Your decision is the bus route you decide to take. Each route can take you on a very specific road.
The bus will take you through multiple fixed stations, but once you get off at your destination (graduation); the places you will continue to travel to is up to you.
You can get off the bus sooner if you wish, and, of course, you can decide to switch to another bus if you want. However, you can also fall asleep on the ride or look through the window at the view to explore the route.
You can decide to sit quietly or socialize with other people on the bus. You can also trust the driver (professor) to take you to where you want to get, or you can talk to him, ask him questions… Bus rides can be tiring, but they can also be fun and relaxing. They are what you make them.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, the bus company you are riding with is Eastern Michigan University, and trust me, you are in good hands. Now it’s time to pick a bus route, or in other words, you major.
Whether you have a major in mind or you are still undecided, there are many important things you need to consider before further pursuing with your desired major. Lucky for you, we have narrowed it down to the three most important things to consider when choosing a major or a field of study.
Q1: Does this interest you?
This might sound like a cliché, but give yourself time to really think: is this field of study interesting to me? Will I be happy to wake up everyday and deal with this topic for a long period of time?
Your decision will not only determine what degree you will graduate with, but what career you will be most qualified for once you’ve graduated. Give yourself time to think about it deeply; however, you do not have to decide right away.
Q2: Is your choosing field in progress?
Another important aspect to consider is whether or not your field of interest is in demand. This is can be tricky, because in a way you need to predict the future, and that limits your options.
You want to look at the field in terms of development and progress – How did this field changed in the last 10 years? What are the job opportunities offered in the field? What are the salary potential? How easy can one find a job in the field?
Passion for the field will not guarantee a career, so this question needs to be taken to consideration in the early stage of your decision.
Q3: What makes me stand out from the rest?
Lastly, every student needs to remember that in any field there will be competition. There will always be people who are interested in the same field as you; and so, they will compete you for those desired jobs.
Ask yourself, what do I have, that others don’t? It could be specific “hard skills” you’ve acquired in your life such as; InDesign, Microsoft-Office, accounting or mathematics, public speaking, bookkeeping, data analysis, a second language, etc.
In addition to “soft skills” which are just as important: incredible passion for the field of study, willingness to learn more, leadership character, management, communication, creativity, time management, conflict resolution, etc.
Take your time to think about those questions, trust yourself and listen to your heart. Remember life is full of surprises and it is important to enjoy the journey, whatever route you’ve picked. And if you haven’t gotten on the bus yet, just wait – there will always be another one on it’s way!
Michal Liberman is an swimmer at EMU. She is a junior, majoring in public relations. Michal is from Israel originally, works part time in the EMU Division of Communications, and is featured in EMU’s #YouAreWelcomeHere banner campaign.