Archive for the ‘Majors & Minors’ Category
While you shouldn’t pick your major solely based on what’s popular or what’s going to be in demand upon graduation, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have some knowledge about where the job market is heading! Here are the top 6 majors that are quickly increasing in popularity.
Doctors, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, home aids, physician’s assistants and pharmacists are all in high demand right now. Many of these positions have a high starting pay. Accelerated and flexible degree and certification programs are also an attractive incentive for college students!
As concern for the environment continues to grow, colleges and universities have found themselves creating “green” majors, or degree programs that deal with environmental issues. These majors include bioethics, food science, and horticulture. According to The Princeton Review, even degrees like fashion design and packaging are incorporating an environmental emphasis.
The computer science major has undergone something of a resurrection since the burst of the “dot-com” bubble. An article in the San Francisco Business Times dated August 3, 2012 mentions that the University of California at Berkeley saw an 87% increase from 2007 to 2011 in their computer science department. While this major continues to grow in popularity, there is much debate regarding its future need, with some believing this field will remain in high demand, and others who believe this demand has already been met.
Kinesiology, the study of human body movement, has been reported to have an increase in popularity as well. According to an article from the San Francisco Business Times, since 2008, Notre Dame saw a 160% increase and the University of California at Berkley saw a 48% increase in this field. Kinesiology can lead to careers in the sports or medical fields.
Engineers continue to be in demand, and with a high starting pay, many students find themselves interested in pursuing this route. Engineering has many different branches including civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering as well as combinations of these. With strong coursework in physics, math, and science, expertise in this field seems to always provide a career.
There has been a large increase in statistics majors, with the University of California at Berkeley citing it as their second fastest growing major in the last several years, per the aforementioned article. Statistics students, who have a strong background in math and specialize in processing and analyzing data, are highly useful and in demand for businesses that are joining the online community. Companies that have only recently started using Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts need statistic majors to evaluate the new data these sites are providing to them so they can make better decisions about their digital presence.
If your major isn’t on here, don’t get discouraged! Jumping on the current trend or focusing only on the most popular majors isn’t always the best choice. If you’re good at something, and if you’re head over heels in love with it, you will have the passion and motivation it takes to find a job you like, and get paid well for it too!
Did your heart leap for joy when you read the title of this post? Deep down, are you hoping this list validates your suspicions that you need to change your major? If so, it might be time for you to make some moves! Read through these warning signs and then decide for yourself if you definitely need to switch your studies.
- You are bored. You either fall asleep in classes that pertain to your major or daydream through them and barely pay attention. You could not care less about the subject matter and the professors bore you. The uninteresting lectures never seem to improve and every class is a reminder that you are wasting your time. If you are this bored, you might want to change your major.
- You are failing. Or close to failing. In any case, you are doing terribly in your major classes. You don’t understand the subject matter or struggle with the concepts. Even after trying to work with professors or tutors, nothing really makes sense to you. If you are frustrated with how difficult the classes are, you might want to change your major.
- You chose it just to choose one. You were applying to schools and they said, “Declare!” so you declared! It was as if you closed your eyes and picked a major out of a hat. Or perhaps the only thought you gave the decision was, “English is broad. I’ll major in English.” If you are not passionate about your studies and just chose something so you’d have an answer when people asked about it, you might want to change your major.
- You browse other majors. You find yourself scrolling through your school’s website on the regular, researching other majors and growing slightly jealous of students studying exotic things like Electrical Engineering or Music Theory. You fantasize about reading American History textbooks or designing clothing for an exhibition. If you can see yourself strongly in another department and dream about it constantly, you might want to change your major.
- You chose it to please your parents. Mom and Dad said, “Pre-med!” so you declared Pre-med! Mom and Dad said, “Business!” so you declared Business! Well, Mom and Dad don’t have to go to your classes, nor are they you. You are the one who will do the work and work the job in the future, so make sure you choose a major that satisfies YOU. If you felt forced into your major, you might want to change it. Talk to your counselor about your options if you feel you need a boost in the right direction here.
- You dread working. You realize that even if you ace your major’s classes and can stay focused, you cannot stand the thought of spending your life post-graduation working in your chosen field. If you abhor all the jobs available within your major, you might want to change your major.
When deciding on a major, it is important to first assess what you are interested in and what careers are available for someone with your intended skill set. You will have many opportunities to put your studies to work in classes, jobs, and internships throughout college, which will also help you narrow down your field of study to something that you will genuinely enjoy doing after you graduate. As a freshman, if you find yourself struggling to pick a major, don’t worry! There’s still time to figure it out, and the great thing about college is that it’s pretty easy to change your major later on if you feel you may be better suited to study something else.
What Do You Like?
An easy way to preliminarily decide what you want to major in is to think about what you liked learning in high school. There are different paths available in every major from computer science to nutrition to art and design, and understanding where your general academic interests lie is a great way to narrow down the field. Once you decide what subject you’d like to explore, the major requirements you need to take will help you figure out which specific aspects of the subject most appeals to you.
Make the Most of General Requirements
Throughout college, you will need to take certain classes to fill university-wide requirements. Generally, students will need to take a combination of a foreign language, an introduction to science, a low-level math class, and one or two college writing classes in order to graduate. Though you may initially see these classes as an undesirable addition to your course load, changing your attitude and seeing them as a way to explore different majors can help you find a subject you may be drawn to that you weren’t aware of before. It is very common for students to change majors after declaring, or pick up a minor they would have never considered upon entering school. Look through the course guide and pick classes that meet requirements and afford you the opportunity to explore new interests.
Use Your Resources
College syllabi and older upperclassmen can be great resources when choosing on a major. Many professors will post required readings and assignments with the course description, allowing you to see what the workload will be like before you sign up for the class. As you decide what classes to take, explore the syllabi and see if the coursework is something that interests you. If you find yourself dreading most of the work you will have during the semester, it may be a good idea to consider looking for different tracks of study within your field, or changing your major altogether. Another great resource that is available is the peer-advising office, where you can get advice and talk to upperclassmen in your major about what they enjoy most and least about the program.
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