Deciding on a major in college can be very scary, as it is usually the first taste of independence a student is given. Suddenly, you have control over your own life decisions. Your parents can suggest paths that you can follow but the one who must ultimately go along with it is you, the student, and only you. This is why it’s so difficult, and often frightening, when choosing what to study while in college. In addition to that, students can feel that they are making a decision that will affect their lives forever. For instance, if one chooses an art major, feelings of future financial insecurity can ensue. Yet, if a student chooses engineering or mathematics then society will immediately predict success for that student’s future. Why is that? Well, there are salary statistics absolutely everywhere. Engineers have higher incomes than art majors. Nobody’s doubting that. If what you want is the highest paycheck possible then you don’t have to read on. Just search online for the highest paid career and study that. However, it’s also important to realize that not everybody does what they studied in college for a career. There are extremely successful businessman who majored in English or Art. In essence, your major does not limit you very much, unless you want to enter into a highly specialized industry.
The reality for most of us is different. We want jobs that will fulfill us and where we can best use our skills and values. What do I mean by this? By this I mean that we must understand what we want to do with our knowledge and what we hope to accomplish in the world. If you’ve always loved children then becoming a teacher might be the perfect job for you. On the other hand, if you’ve always had a love for electronics then you should consider becoming an electrician or electrical engineer. In addition, if you see problems in the world that you would like to address within your own career then that can serve as a motivational factor and training for a career in addressing that issue might be the perfect fit. There is definitely truth in the sayings “Follow your passion” and “Do what you love”. At the end of the day, you want to feel fulfilled. It’s hard to have a fulfilling life when you are working at a job that has nothing to do with what you’ve always had a passion or love for.
There are two things you should do while choosing a career. First, educate yourself about your different career options. There are so many skills companies value, and it might just be what you’ve already been doing as a hobby your whole life. Love numbers? Become a mathematician! Have a passion for building stuff? Maybe engineering is the path you should take. Second, be open to change. If you do not get it right the first time, while in college, that does not mean your whole life is over. There are so many ways in which you can pursue your new goals. Take vocational classes at your local community college or, better yet, learn through books. Public libraries can be very useful and have vast amounts of information.
Choosing a career that fits perfectly with you can be hard, but definitely not impossible. Nobody is given a blueprint but that’s the beauty of life. You are the master of your destiny!
-- Fernando Garcia