The first thing to consider when changing your major is RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. There is no harm in constantly looking into what your plan is following graduation.
One thing I want to note is that classes do not equal career. I realized pretty early on in the semester that I didn’t enjoy the classes I needed to fulfill my original major’s requirements. The next step I took was to look at college websites and simple Google searches to see what I could do with my current degree and if any of the careers sounded interesting to me. After realizing that they did not fully interest me, I decided then that I wanted to change my major.
Once I decided I wanted to change my major, I looked into classes and experiences that I enjoyed in high school and college so far. For me, that was history classes, reading, and writing. Even though I hadn’t wholly chosen what I wanted to major in, I still put it into the Degree Evaluation to see if I could still graduate within four years so that I didn’t lose my scholarships and I would not have to pay extra tuition.
Another critical point to note is that I was going to base changing my major on the career I wanted post-degree and not only classes I was taking. Because of that, I made a point of figuring out what I wanted from a career. (There are no wrong values.) Mine were having enough money to be financially stable where I could not worry about going into debt and paying off student loans at a good pace. The ability to get a job was necessary; how many openings for the jobs with that degree occur every year; that the job interested me to the point that I wasn’t going to burn out quickly. And finally, the ability to either have a solid base of finances so that I could travel or a job containing elements of travel.
Following that list, I looked into careers I could get with a history degree. Would that career require a master’s degree? How much would it pay? A lot of jobs in history are very competitive and do not always have high annual salaries. That research made me realize that I liked history and could still get a bachelor’s degree in history and maybe get a master’s degree in another field. I then looked at multiple large public universities, read through their graduate programs, and came up with a couple of exciting ideas. (for each of
those options, I did similar research where I looked and annual salaries and the number of job openings each year).
The next thing I did was schedule a meeting with Laura Zirngible in the Career Center to discuss majors through a major exploration appointment. In the meeting, I discussed my likes as well as my concerns regarding changing to a humanities major, specifically a history major, and would it be a practical degree. I then took the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) test that uses your interests and personality traits to see what careers suited you.
After that meeting, I had decided to change my major. After that decision, I contacted a professor in the history department to see if I had to complete any other forms besides the Major-Change Form. After she responded, I contacted my academic advisor to let her know I was changing majors and then filled out the form to the registrar. What a huge sigh of relief!