Posts Tagged ‘college majors’

Choosing a Major

Categories: Majors & Minors

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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The Road Between “Undeclared” and Choosing a Major

Categories: Majors & Minors

Choosing a major isn’t easy.

You’ve probably heard someone say the answer is whatever you would do if you had a million dollars, but sometimes the answer isn’t nearly that simple. We don’t have a million dollars, and while many people find themselves happy in careers that are unrelated to their degree, there remains an expectation that whatever field we choose will determine how we spend our days, and how we make a living, for the rest of our lives.

That’s a pretty tough choice when you’ve only had a couple of years to truly determine what you like and what you’re good at.

As a college freshman, I was frequently tormented with this dilemma, and further annoyed with my “undeclared” label. I was (and still am) interested in everything! Having spent my high school days in choruses and musicals, I was determined not to let my love for music die. However; biology was my favorite science, and I was curious as to what I could do with my wicked memorization skills on the college level. Then again, criminal justice fascinated me, and sociology was like taking a class in everything I already think about everyday! Then there was English, my lifelong love, but after a string of less-than-great English teachers, I had lost most of my interest in writing.

Determine Your Skill Level

While many of us would love to become famous actors or professional athletes, at some point, you have to consider your skill level. In my case, while I frequently received solos and was part of the most elite musical group in my high school, I had nothing on those who were majoring in music.

Research Required Coursework

Before choosing a field, take a peek at your college catalog. What classes are required for this major? What does this major prepare you to do? Sometimes, just looking at the coursework will push you in one direction or the other. I took one look at the biology major coursework, saw the amount of practical implications, and moved on.

Research the Career

When you’ve narrowed it down to a couple different major choices, look at what careers would be available to you. Talk to real individuals who hold these jobs. Ask them what the job is like and what can prepare you for it. This might be when you realize you can’t be an environmentalist with a general science degree; rather, you’ll need an earth science degree. This might also be where you realize a particular job isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. After researching career options, I discovered that sociology and law enforcement were not majors that would lead to a job I would actually enjoy.

Get Your Feet Wet

Sometimes you won’t know if you’ve picked the right major until you get your feet wet. After declaring myself an English education major, I came to realize after the first semester that I wasn’t so crazy about the science of learning! That was something I didn’t know until I took an education class. Dabble in your interests and see how it feels!

If  it turns out your college doesn’t offer the major you want, Cappex can help you search for colleges that do!

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Return of the Computer Science Major

Categories: Majors & Minors

The last decade or so has proven to be nothing short of a roller-coaster of ups and downs for computer science departments at colleges and universities across the country.

According to USNews.com, the number of computer science majors has returned to and, in many cases nationally, exceeded the enrollment high-water mark previously set during the “dot-com” boom of the early 2000s. This rebirth is particularly noteworthy given that the upswing comes after enrollment numbers in 2005 were at their lowest since the early 1970s.

The report cites the strengthening economy and job market in technological fields as explanations, even in the midst of a broader economy still widely regarded as less than stellar. Further, the growing impact of social media platforms and increasingly ubiquitous mobile applications have sparked interest, as many students set sights on creating the next Facebook or Instagram.

Learn about schools with Computer Science programs at Cappex!

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