2 Ways Picking a Major Early Could Get You a Better Job

Oct 20, 2011

College students often begin taking classes as 'undeclared' or 'undecided' majors. However, deciding on an academic path early on could help degree seekers get a better job upon graduation.

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By Erin Tigro

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Correlations Between Early Decision and Opportunity

Certainty Goes a Long Way

Deciding on your major sooner rather than later can save you money and time. This can help you graduate with optimism and confidence. You can take that self-assurance into your job search - confidently networking with like-minded professionals and presenting your best persona to potential employers.

1. Time to Make Connections

Let's say you declare your major as a freshman. You'll have several years to find on-campus clubs, local groups and national organizations geared to your major or intended career path. These organizations may host career fairs, conferences or workshops that are designed to help you make professional connections. Such events can lead to valuable internships or entry-level positions, which can lead to better job opportunities in the future.

2. More Opportunity for Customized, Hands-On Experience

As mentioned above, choosing a degree specialization early can provide you with plenty of opportunities to volunteer or intern in your intended field. Such experiences can help you gain practical and specific knowledge and skills. Since tailored work experience is a trait college graduates often lack, this can help you stand out in a sea of employment applicants.

Tips to Help You Choose Your Major

If you don't know what you're going to major in yet, you're not alone. To help decide on a subject of study, consider speaking with a college advisor. Completing career and personality assessments either online or through your institution's career services office may provide you with several viable majors and occupations. When you've narrowed down your choices, utilize free resources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' website or job search sites to research salaries, employment outlooks and preferred educational backgrounds. Take all of this information into consideration and see how it would fit into your long-term goals.

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