Declaring Your Major
The average college freshman is 18 years old. The average college sophomore is 19 years old. Take this time to realize how young we are when we ask college students to select their college major, essentially getting a degree and becoming professionals in that field as we get older. Declaring your major is like declaring what job you want when you get older, and for the rest of your life. Now, I understand the jobs we select are not permanent and we can always move to a different industry, but the major you selected at the age of 19 will be judged by your interviewer and can make switching career fields more challenging. The point is, we are asking students at the young age of 19 to make a decision that can and will impact their future professional life!
If you know your calling and you know your passion for “science” will never die, that is incredible and declaring your major might be a bit easier! However, for many students, that decision does not come as easy. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania estimates 20 to 50 percent of students enter college undecided.
Students are able to take classes in as many fields, however, each class cost money and that would be an expensive way to test your interest level in different industries. The single best way students are able to try and gain real-world experience in that career field is an internship. Internships shine a light into the world that students think they have interest in.
Internships are one of the best tools students have access to. Before selecting your major all students should do an internship if not multiple internships in that career field. For example, a student is passionate about journalism as a major. That student should find an internship that relates to journalism jobs he/she might consider after college. Try an internship such as PR or writing and editing. Try working for news corporations or broadcast stations such as CNN or Fox Corporation. Any of these internships will help expose that student to the world of journalism and all that job has to offer. Not just by working, but by observing others in your desired career field can expose a variety of jobs or positions that might interest you. By learning your likes and dislikes, selecting the right career for you can be fun and much clearer.
Internships are a tool students should utilize to gain much deeper exposure. By interning in your desired job or workplace, the student is able to make a decision with much more knowledge and experience in that career field. Instead of guessing if you could be interested in doing that job after college, test your idea first via an internship. With more knowledge and experience the student is able to feel more confident in selecting their major.