Many teens graduate from high school and have no idea what careers are out there, so how are you supposed to choose a major? Doctor, lawyer, vet, nurse…forced to make a decision upon high school graduation, many of us end up defaulting to typical careers that may or may not be the best fit for individual interests and personality. These are simply careers that we are familiar with. Not surprisingly, many of us go on to dislike our jobs, realizing that we made the wrong choice in college major.
Less than 35% of Americans are happy in their jobs (Gallup). That means almost 70% of us are miserable at least eight hours a day! There are likely many factors underlying this stark reality, but to me it makes sense. How do you know if you like something unless if you’ve never done it? For example, I wanted to be a vet but didn’t realize that I couldn’t handle some of the things they had to do. Sadly, I didn’t know that until I was half way through my college program to be one. You do not really know if you like something or not until you’re doing it! And if we are not actually ‘doing’ it until college when we are spending thousands of dollars and years of hard work to ‘do’ it, we are setting our future workforce up for disappointment.
So how do you choose the perfect major? There really is no secret, other than following your passions while balancing them with realistic expectations. While still in high school, pay close attention to things that you like, and things that you do not like, both inside and outside the classroom. Talk to as many people as you can to see what types of careers are out there, and what those jobs actually entail. Intern, volunteer, join programs, watch YouTube videos – whatever you can do to see what careers are out there will go a long way towards helping you chose the perfect major. Good luck!