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College: How to pick your major

Fall classes are just around the corner and you haven't picked your major yet? No worries-- it's best to take your time.

Are you the dreaded "undecided" major? At some point, you will have to
choose, but it doesn't have to be right away. Picking your major is
about a lot more than how much money you will make someday. It should be
a reflection of who you are and what you're passionate about. If you're
having trouble deciding, remember these key points from Dr.
Patricia Imbimbo, director of Starr Career Development Center at Baruch
College.

Use your first year to gauge your interest. Most classes
you take as a freshman are typically general requirements, so see which
ones peak your interest. While you're at it, take a look at the list of
majors offered at your school.

"Students need to think of who
they are, what they like to do and the world of work," says Imbimbo.
"Sometimes students get afraid of liberal arts, for example, because
they think they won't get a job, but that's just not true. They are
still getting good communication skills and other things employers are
looking for."

You don't have to choose until your deadline. For
students at Baruch College and many other schools, that deadline is the
second semester of your sophomore year.

"Use that time before to
explore broadly. Students will be coming in contact with new ideas and
talking to people who have expertise. Take in that info and explore your
options," says Imbimbo.

If you do miss your deadline for
declaring a major, you risk delaying your graduation. However, it might
be the best choice for you. You don't want to be rushed and settle on a
major that isn't really right for you. It's better to take more time and
pick the right one, says Imbimbo.

"It's better that it happens now, then when they are older and it's more difficult to make a change of career," she says.

Remember
though, you major doesn’t necessarily have to dictate your career. Many
people end up getting jobs in fields other than their major.

You
should also consider how important a factor salary is to you. Everyone
wants to make money, but Imbimbo recommends going after your real
passion.

"I think there is a tendency by students to look at
monetary value and take themselves out of the equation and not take seriously that you will be working more hours at your career than
anything else you do," says Imbimbo. "You have to figure out what the value of salary is to your life."

 
 
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