If you are finishing up high school or just starting out in college, you may be thinking about what to go to college for. Unfortunately, there are no forecasting methods for this daunting task. There are many options! Even if you are not going directly into business, here are some tips to help you decide what to go to college for. Hopefully, once you have found what you want to pursue, you will complete a degree that allows you to contribute to organizations in the private or non-profit sectors.
Wait Until You Start
Perhaps the most important tip that you will not hear from your parents is to wait until you are actually in college to decide your major. The first semester of your freshman year in college will be devoted solely to prerequisite courses, no matter what your major. So take advantage of this time and use your “prereqs” to help you figure out what you are passionate about. This is the exact purpose for prerequisite course requirements, so make sure to take advantage of them.
What Do You Enjoy Doing?
The first step in figuring out what to go to college for should be making a list of all the things you enjoy doing. Start with subjects that you enjoyed in high school: math, history, science, etc. Then, try to narrow it down beyond the subject and think about the process involved with that subject. For example, if you like solving technical process problems, you may wish to focus on something in the sciences. If you enjoy getting your hands dirty and being creative, perhaps something in the marketing field is an option for you. Think about the details and research what an average day looks like for a student in the field you are considering. When considering what to go to college for, thinking about what you enjoy doing is a great first step.
What Do You Not Enjoy Doing?
If you hate reading literature and writing essays on office paper, a major in English is not for you. If you are bored to tears by learning about the past, then you probably should avoid a history major. When considering what to go to college for, think about the subjects you did not enjoy in high school and scratch those off your list of potential majors. Otherwise, you will be no better prepared to avoid working in the fast food industry because you will be so unhappy you will probably drop out of school altogether. College is difficult, so be sure to pick something you are passionate about or, at the very least, enjoy.
What Are You Good At?
Once you have a list of subjects you enjoy and those that you do not, then start to think about what you are good at. If you really love art but have consistently been told that you are not particularly good at painting and drawing, consider a related field such as art history. If you love computers but cannot code or are hopeless with a keyboard, perhaps that should be a hobby instead of your major. It is perfectly fine to challenge yourself by picking a subject in which you could improve, but try to avoid areas where you have significant trouble. Conversely, refrain from picking a subject in which you are already an expert, as you will get bored quickly. When you are deciding what to go to college for, think about what you are good at to narrow down your options.
What Is Most Important To You?
When pondering what to go to college for, you should think hard about what is most important to you. Do you want to leave an impression in this world? Do you want to help people? Do you want to follow tradition and go into the family business? Do you want to make a lot of money? These can be difficult questions to answer, and your responses may change over time, but it is worth asking yourself these questions. Sometimes the careers that help people are not the ones that make the most money. Sometimes they are incredibly lucrative however, just ask all the famous people who failed at first. When thinking about what to go to college for, try to rank your answers to these questions to determine what is most important to you.
How Much Money Do You Want To Make?
Speaking of money, when contemplating what to go to college for you must be realistic. Sadly, we cannot all make money doing the things we love. Follow your dreams to an extent, but consider what you want to do in life and how much money that may require. If you want to have a family life, you will need a career that pays accordingly like investment banking. If you want to live off the earth and have no desire for material possessions, you will not need as high an income. When deciding what to go to college for, think about how much money you want to make before picking a field to study.
Determining what to go to college for can be a nerve-racking process. When looking at majors and future career paths in business or any other industry, remember to ask yourself these important questions. This will also avoid the risk of becoming a college dropout. It is always possible to change career paths later in life, but taking the time and considering these questions will help you decide what the best major is for you in the long term.
Image from http://careerservices.ssc.uwo.ca/resources/choosing_a_program.html