Choosing A Major

ba degreeI have an unorthodox method of choosing a field of study, which is mainly by income levels. This might sound completely ridiculous, but hear me out.

You have your high income majors, medium income majors, and low income majors. Each category, starting from low income majors, increases exponentially to the amount of time and money invested as well as difficulty.  Now, this doesn’t mean people should choose the highest possible income major because they are smart and/or want to be rich, nor does it reflect happiness. In fact, high income majors are known to have a negative impact on general happiness if it is not what you really want.

The degrees listed below may, of course, fluctuate in average income depending on the state, experience, company, etc.

1. High income degrees: Medical, Law, and Finance

2. Medium income degrees: Business, IT,  Engineering, and Science

3. Low income degrees: History, Math, Arts, and Teaching

Now each of these degrees have various areas of emphasis. So what I would do first is ask myself, “Which income level best fits my lifestyle?” I personally grew up in a middle class family so I was OK with the idea of not making six figures per year but not OK making less than $40,000 per year. Therefore, I could choose a medium or high income degree.

My next step would be to figure out what I would be interested in and if I could see myself doing this for a long period of time. This is the most difficult question because most college students have no idea if they will end up liking their career path. Some people wont find out until well after they’re out of college.

I’d suggest matching up hobbies to certain majors. For example, I love to fix/build computers. Therefore, I would most likely go into an IT field. After taking several classes you may change your mind, which is absolutely OK. The average college student changes his/her major 3-5 times. I, myself, changed majors 3 times.

The best advice I could give is not to be afraid to try classes in different majors. For example, if you like chemistry, try taking Chem 101. If you like computer hardware, take a hardware class. If anything it will count for an elective or just give you college credit.

OK, let’s say I decide on business. Should I just stick with a plain ol’ business degree? I  would recommend against it. Why? Because it is the most common major of all. What will set you apart from the others? Choose an area of emphasis or an actual degree in a certain type of business. For example, business administration, human resources, business marketing, etc. This will dramatically help your case when applying for a job in one of these fields.

Why would someone choose a low income degree? Well, this type of person needs to possess certain qualities: ambition and passion. If you have neither of these then pick something else. One would need to be passionate about their subject and really love it in order to supplement the low income. Also, ambitiousness is a must-have quality in order to get anywhere in that field. An ambitious person might start out making $25,000 teaching at some elementary school, but after years of dedicated hard work they could jump their way up the food chain and start making better salaries.

Lastly, once you find a good path, stick with it. Getting a regents degree is better than not finishing college, but it is not the best career choice. If you are going to pay a lot of money to go to college, make sure you get the most out of it. Don’t take the easy way out and just take random 101 classes until you finally earn enough credits for a degree. I promise, unless you develop a unique skill, it will not pay off when comes to applying.

Still not sure? Comment or contact me directly.