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3 Clear Steps to Help You Choose a Major

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Choosing what you're going to study in college is both an exciting and daunting task. With all the changes and new experiences involved with enrolling in a higher education program, it's easy to get caught up in the moment and pick a path that might not be best suited to you. Tulane School of Professional Advancement's admissions team looks forward to getting to know each student and helping them through each step of returning to school as an adult. Below are some additional steps you can take to help you feel confident about deciding on a major or course of study.

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1) Evaluate Your Interests and Skills

Before choosing a major, take some time to reflect on what your passions and interests are. You may consider spending the rest of your life in the field of study you choose, so it's important to pick something that excites you and keeps you engaged. It's also important to know what you don't like: if field work doesn't appeal to you, then you shouldn't consider a career in construction management. Further research such as taking online career assessment quizzes or thinking about what you enjoyed in previous work settings or classes can sometimes lead you down the path of self-discovery. For example, if you felt the more attentive in art class in high school, consider a career as a digital designer or similar career paths that spur creativity. Most importantly, you shouldn't just declare a major because you feel like you have to or because it seems the most practical. Students feeling unsure about the earning potential associated with a specific career or industry can schedule an appointment with SoPA's Career Advisor for additional support and insight.

Here are a few other ways to evaluate your interests and skills:

  • Speak with former teachers or coaches. While this decision is yours alone, people who helped guide you up to this point might have some extra insight.
  • Read about people who inspire you and learn about their career journey.

2) Research Career Opportunities and Job Market Trends

When picking your major, you should also consider what kind of job opportunities will be available to you after you earn your degree. Keep in mind your desired salary range in addition to available job opportunities. For instance, if you were considering earning your BS in Information Technology it might be valuable for you to know the average information security analyst makes $103,590 per year with that position's expected job growth to be 31% between 2019-2029 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some of the best ways to research career opportunities:

  • If you have a specific industry in mind, but maybe not a specific position, focus on learning more about the industry and research which areas of study.
  • Check if the career you're interested in would require an additional degree or certification. By keeping your long-term goals in mind you better set yourself up for a successful career.

3) Review Course Requirements

Before diving into an area of study, you should look through the online course catalog for majors or schools you're considering. Learn degree program requirements (e.g., research, lab hours, etc.). Considerations such as performing well on written tests versus excelling at hands-on projects are what you should think through before picking your major, as some curriculums might require more writing assignments than others.

Other ways to ensure the courses you choose are right for you:

- Research the minimum and maximum hours you can take per semester, so you can make sure your courses will fit your schedule.

- Map out how long each perspective major will take you. If you don't want to be in school any longer than four years, you should avoid careers that will require you to earn a master's or doctorate degree to find a job.

- Be sure the course descriptions interest you and don't leave you feeling bored and discouraged.

Find Your Passion with Tulane SoPA

The beauty of deciding what you're going to study in college is that it is completely up to you. That's why it's important to do preliminary research so you can make an educated career decision. To learn more about the Tulane School of Professional Advancement request more info so you can start your application and begin your career journey.

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