Pick a major based on interest, not money
3 mins read

Pick a major based on interest, not money

Coming to college offers freedom and choices. You can go where you want when you want to without having to ask for permission first and do whatever you want. If you feel like eating Chick-fil-A for every meal, you totally can.

Deciding what to declare as your major can be a difficult choice. With over a hundred majors and minors to choose from at the University of South Dakota, it can be agonizing.

Take myself for instance. I came to college undecided, declared social work, changed my mind the end of sophomore year, declared communication sciences and disorders and changed my mind again at the beginning of senior year. Now I’m taking journalism classes and looking for a writing job.

I know it’s a tough choice.

The mistake I made at the beginning of college was being too worried with making lots of money. I didn’t consider what I would enjoy studying. I wanted to do journalism when I came into college, but I was too concerned with finding a job that had a high salary.

So I kept bouncing between majors that would make more money after graduation. But the problem was I didn’t enjoy what I was learning because it wasn’t something I was genuinely interested in. Nonetheless, I’m glad I took the path I did in college. It was stressful and uncertain, but now I have knowledge about social work, communication sciences and disorders and journalism.

It is also common to graduate with a certain degree, but end up in a job totally different than what you studied in school. Even if you finish out school with a degree you aren’t too crazy about, you can still find a job that you’ll enjoy and make a career out of it.

It is okay if you end up changing your major a few times. That’s pretty normal. Students who pick one major and stick with it throughout college are usually the exception.

Senior year of college, I realized I needed to do what I liked and not worry about the money.

As I prepare for finals and graduation, here is my advice: pick a major you’re going to like learning about. If you study something you’re interested in, you’re actually going to want to study. When you graduate with that degree you loved earning, you won’t be concerned about the money because you’ll be working in a career you love.

Take a few introduction classes to majors you’re interested in to see if you’ll like them. Doing this your first year will help you down the road when you need to declare a major.

Having a career you love that doesn’t make a lot of money will make you much happier than making a lot of money and absolutely hating your job.