3 Ways to Choose a College Major in High School

Last Updated on September 25, 2012

Have you chosen a college major? If you haven't decided yet, no pressure. Take all the time you want to choose a good program. After all, your future as a working adult hinges on what courses you take in college.

There are several schools of thought to consider when choosing a college major – follow your passion, follow the money and follow your strengths.

Follow Your Passion

Most people would tell you to follow your passion when choosing a career path. On television, you see enough reality shows that talk about what this is all about. There are those that adopt a single-minded attitude to pursue a dream, and they go for it regardless of what they have to sacrifice.

But there are some pitfalls to using passion as the only basis for planning your future, especially if you have an obligation as the breadwinner of your family. What if your main passion in life belongs to an industry that experts say would be stagnant in the next decade Should you automatically avoid the course that leads directly to that industry These questions lead to parents advising their kids to “follow the money” rather than their passion when choosing a career. This simply means joining an industry that has the potential to become bigger in the next years.

Follow the Money

Right now, people understand that there are some industries on a hiring moratorium because of the global economic problems. This should greatly affect your decision to pursue a certain college major.

Examples of careers that “follow the money” are those in the medical field. No matter how bad the economy is, people would still go to hospitals to get the treatment they need for their ailments. A retiring employee would splurge all his savings into an expensive procedure like dialysis if it's the only thing that could save his life.

This reality, combined with the fact that there are more incurable diseases now than in the past, created a significant boom in the number of students pursuing medical careers like nursing, care giver training and physical therapy. Soon, there are more nurses in a state than hospitals could accommodate, and some facilities have asked for freeze hiring for nurses and care givers because they have more than enough.

Follow Your Strengths

Because there is no telling how the economy would play out in the near future, the best thing to do would be to follow your strengths. Your strengths definitely dictate what kind of job you will be good at, and which careers are best for you.

For instance, if you're good at technical stuff, you can apply this to various careers like those related with information technology and publishing. The health industry could also use people with highly tuned technical instincts, such as radiologists and lab technicians. Artists also find a niche in the medical industry as pediatric therapists. It's not surprising to find a true visual artist working as an occupational therapist and creating learning aids for children with special needs.

If you're a people person and you have natural charisma, you will become a valuable member of a marketing team. But besides the obvious career in sales, you also have the potential to become a government leader and a lawyer. If you're a well-rounded person with an eclectic array of skills, as well as enough patience to handle impressionable minds, you can be an excellent teacher and a mentor to kids.

Photo Courtesy of BIGSTOCK

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