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Choosing a college major

Choosing a college major is a consequential task. There are good reasons for your choice and bad reasons. Here’s some guidance as you struggle with this issue.

The first thing to avoid is following the crowd. If you follow the crowd, you can expect the same consequences that the crowd suffers. Anyone who reads the news about the bondage of college debt should know that following the crowd is a bad idea and to be avoided.

In his “Money Management for College Students” workbook, Larry Burkett listed reasons people might select their college majors. I addressed some of these in my “Say No! To College Debt” book. Rather than repeat what’s already in the book, I’ll expand on a way to determine what might be best for you.

While Larry listed figuring out your life purpose as his first wise step toward choosing a college major, most almost-adults are not there in their thinking. Let’s bypass that and move to a next step of looking at what subjects you enjoyed in high school. Almost all future college students have favorite subjects, so-so subjects, and subjects they hated.

Make a list of all your high school classes and sort them into those three categories. Now, go back and determine if a class that you put in the favorite category was there because of a teacher you really liked, even though the topic was not of great interest. Move that class to the so-so category. On the flip side, see if there is a class in the hated class category with a teacher you absolutely hated. Maybe that one belongs in the so-so category or even the favorite category.

Now find the common characteristics of the classes in the favorite category. Use the web and do searches on those characteristics. For example, if you found your favorite category included mostly detail-oriented classes, do your search on “jobs using details.” I found good listings for jobs doing just that. Once you have an idea of where you are going, you can start putting together your college plans.

One more thing. It’s not a bad idea for most college majors to just take general education classes for their first year or two. I have a grandson who starts at a community college next month to do just that. It’ll be less expensive, and he’ll get the opportunity to learn about all kinds of options during those first two years.

Thanks for reading, and please pass this on to others you think might benefit from this information.

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