If you’re considering changing your college major, you’re in good company. It’s not unusual for students to change majors at least once after starting school. It’s difficult to know what you want to do for a career when you are just entering college. Whether you’re a traditional-aged freshman or an adult student, it’s a big decision to make, so there are a lot of factors to consider before switching majors. The following advice will help you to make the best decision for you.
Don’t Go It Alone
Be sure you’re not changing your major on a whim, and that you make an informed decision. Take time to talk to someone in-the-know before making anything official. Schedule an appointment with your current academic advisor, a general student success counselor, or with an adviser in the major department that interests you. These professionals can provide you with information about the career you’d like to pursue, point you in the direction of where to learn more, and inform you of any ways in which making a change could affect your academic career.
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Understand College Policies
While it’s natural to switch majors, it is best to do so earlier in your college pursuits. The classes you choose to take can have an effect on your financial aid and on the time it takes you to graduate. Planning is required to ensure you take the classes required of you, and that you graduate in a time frame that suits your schedule.
Take a Trial Run
Most colleges and universities have a liberal studies curriculum requirement. These are classes in the sciences, humanities, social sciences, and elective areas. Your adviser can help you to find an introductory class in you are major of interest that might count toward your liberal studies credits. For example, by taking an Intro to Public Administration class for an online public administration master’s, you can learn whether you might enjoy a degree in this area while earning needed credits for anything else you might decide on.
Do Your Research
See a career counselor or do some research online before making a decision. This will help you to learn about the starting salaries, job requirements, anticipated vacancies in the area you hope to live, and personality traits required of such professionals in the industry. When you know what to expect in the career, the studies can go a lot more smoothly as well.
While switching majors can be a bit overwhelming, taking the time to get some insight from the professionals at your school, and doing your research can help you to feel confident that you are making an informed decision.