So, the long awaited acceptance (or rejection) letter comes in the mail, and you got in! Pack up your high school yearbook and favorite teddy bear because you are headed to college. Get ready for four years of lectures, libraries, football games and frat parties. The journey you are about to embark on will be one of tremendous personal growth. You will be tested (quite literally numerous times) as a student, and you will be expected to give back as a member of the community by getting involved in some of the many extra-curricular activities that all colleges have to offer. In the end, your experience will shape you in a way that you did not think was possible. You will discover who you are, and maybe just as importantly what you want to be. That’s right, there is life after college! Career planning for college students is extremely important, and it begins with the initial step of deciding what to go to college for. Choosing a college major that meets your needs will set you on the proper track for success during college, and after.
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a college major and everyone comes to the decision with different interests and priorities. Career planning for college students is important, but not always a top priority for everyone considering what to study. For instance, you may have a passion for a particular subject that you would like to continue to explore. You may not necessarily be as concerned with the long-term career prospects of majoring in this area, but the opportunity to increase your knowledge base on the matter is appealing to you regardless. Carry on and enjoy! Then again, you may already have a career in mind that you know you want to pursue. Your dream job requires that you take certain classes within a specific major and therefor you know exactly what to go to college for. Lucky you!The third potential scenario is that you have absolutely no idea what interests you, or what you want your career to be. Perhaps the question of what to go to college for did not extend too far outside of the social component for you (Sorry, Animal House was just a movie!) If you fall into this category, do not fret. First off, most colleges do not require you to officially declare your major until your sophomore year, so you have some time to figure it out. Secondly, a situation like this affords you the opportunity to really explore your interests from a personal, academic and career perspective to see if perhaps you can merge all three into a life-long vocation that brings you joy. Spend time researching and speaking with people, especially those qualified to give guidance on such matters. Every campus has a center that focuses on career planning for college students. Students are always encouraged to use the career center resources that are available. Advisors can help you explore and determine your interests, as well as share valuable insight about in demand jobs, in demand majors, starting salaries, and life-long earning potential of different careers.
Every person declares a college major with the best of intentions. However, sometimes things do not go according to plan. You may want to change your major along the way. Perhaps you are finding the classes boring or difficult and it is having a negative affect on your GPA. Or perhaps you have had a change of heart regarding the type of career you would like to pursue. Whatever the reason, choosing a college major and then switching to something else is a big decision with positive and negative consequences. The decision could potentially add more time and money spent in college than you originally anticipated. On the other hand, if a change will improve your grades or your professional outlook then maybe a change is well worth it! The choice will be a personal one for each student and family. Again, it is recommended that you seek out the guidance of academic advisors and utilize the career center resources before making this important decision.College can be a blast, but it will eventually come to an end. Your “9 to 5” awaits! Choosing a college major that will set you up for future happiness and success is certainly something to think about. Career planning for college students should at least be part of the conversation when determining what school to attend and what to go to college for. Whatever you decide, you should feel comfortable with your major and enjoy your college experience!