So you have passed your grade 12 board exams with flying colors, Congrats! And few months down the line you will step onto the university threshold into a whole new country and environment sounds exciting. Before you take the college path make sure that you put your best foot forward. It starts from choosing the right major that will help you build a strong foundation in your area of interest.

Choosing a right major can be a tad bit overwhelming considering the bundle of study options available today. And of course to top it all parental and peer pressure makes it more like a do or die situation for you to ensure that you select the right career path. However, don’t rush into making an uninformed decision from fear of being tied to a certain specific career throughout your life. You can certainly opt to switch to a different field of study at crossroad down the career lane. Always better you make sure that you select a major you will enjoy spending time learning about for the next few years.

Your chosen stream is eventually going to lead you to a relevant subject of specialization in that career path. For e.g if you select Marketing as your major, you will further have the option to choose from an array of subjects like- a) Integrated Marketing Communications, b) Public Relations, c) Consumer Behavior and so on. Above and beyond your standard college requirements, your major can be anything from Business to Engineering, Medicine to Arts, and everything in between.  But before you’re too overwhelmed by the options, we’ve put together some helpful tips to help guide you in making the best decision for you.

    1. Choose What You Think Is Right For Yourself

Are you a number cruncher and love solving math problems? Do you enjoy taking the road-less-traveled? Or are you looking to make your mark in a noble profession? Before you get down to choosing your major, it is important that you know where your strengths and weakness lie. Go through your marksheet or recent academic performance as it will help you in ascertaining your strengths and weakness. Also if you need professional help don’t shy away from taking a career aptitude test. An aptitude test will produce an all-round analysis of where your interests incline and some schools and colleges offer them absolutely free!

Also, don’t let parental or peer pressure let you rush into making a decision that you may end up repenting down the line. Your parents may want you to become an engineer or doctor but if you hardly have an affinity for science or math then it is certainly not a good idea to pursue either of the streams.Because all you may end up doing is live up to their expectation, and when those are not met you are certain to feel disappointed. Of course, you can develop skills, but if you truly want to excel in your studies and your career, it definitely makes sense to capitalize off your strong points and develop these, instead of embarking on an uphill battle. You’re far more likely to experience success (and happiness) if you choose a major that suits your individual skillset.

    2. Know Your Personality

When it comes to choosing a career path, it is not just all about intellect it is also your personality that matters. Your personality and innate traits will eventually have more impact on your future career than you think. Do you fancy an extravagant lifestyle larger than life? Or do you seek happiness in modest means of living and making a difference in society? Are you an introvert who prefers working alone to being in a crowded workspace, or an extrovert who loves working with people? Are you compassionate with a strong yearning to help others? Do you love to travel and explore new cultures? Knowing yourself and understanding you who you are as a person is an important first step in deciding on your major. Make sure you take the time to truly reflect on your own personality and use these insights to help guide your decision.

    3. Think Outside The Box

If you love philosophy or history, don’t be too hasty to write these off as a major due to the lack of career opportunities in these fields. Although there may not be many job openings for ‘philosophers’, the cognitive and reasoning skills you’ll learn are often highly respected by employers and could open up exciting opportunities down the line. If you choose to study English, you could find yourself with a career in anything from advertising, journalism, publishing or even teaching English in a foreign country. If you’re good at math, you don’t have to simply major in it. You can choose from an array of math-focused options to suit you, such as architecture, biology, computer science, engineering or economics. So, when it comes to choosing your major, remember to keep an open mind!

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    4. Live your Passion

Your passion will take you places and a good starting point to living your passion and dream life is to acknowledge where your interests lie. Once you identify your passion and choose to follow it, you will naturally get a kick to pursue it with ambition. This will not only mean that you’re more likely to stay focused, but you’ll also be happier in the long term. Rather than focusing on your future career or earning potential, it’s best to first ask yourself, what are my passions, interests, and values?  The only way you can start living your dream life with passion and a meaningful purpose is by doing something that you truly care about, starting with choosing your major.

    5. Be Ready For Change

What may interest you today, might not interest you in the future. This is not only applicable to you but also the working world you will set your foot into after graduation. For e.g a course you’ve been pursuing that requires a manual application of labor at your job might get automated in the future, and become obsolete. So always be future ready and open to changes that might take place in the field of your chosen major.  

    6. Keep your career in mind

When choosing your major, it’s important to consider the future job opportunities that will be available to you. But that being said, there’s no need to obsess over it. Choosing a major is less about prepping for your first job and more about choosing your life path. If, however, you’re in the lucky position that your passion and career plans are aligned, then make sure that you choose the major that means the fastest path to your dream job.

SchoolApply advisors are always ready to help you decide which major will go hand in hand with your passion, all you need to do is click here.

About the Co-Author: Mustafa Sutarwala is an all-round creative marketing graduate from Amity University Dubai, and is currently working in Dubai. He's inclined to digital marketing communications and works as the Creative Ninja for SchoolApply.