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How to Choose a Major — and Then Find the Perfect School


Much of the advice we’ve given so far on choosing a college has assumed that you know which major you plan to study. The reality, of course, is that 50 percent of students change their minds once they get to school. So how can you pick the right course of study for you?


(Photo Credit: Charline Tetiyevsky/Flickr)

Part of the process is understanding what’s important to you — and being honest about it. It’s perfectly OK, for example, to be focused on finding a career that will give you financial security when you graduate, or to look for a major that will prepare for jobs that give back to the world.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Another thing many students don’t think about, but should, is where their college majors will lead, in terms of the jobs they’ll be prepared for when they graduate. As part of the College Salary Report, PayScale has prepared an exhaustive list of popular jobs by major, so that you can figure out whether what you enjoy studying will lead to a job you’ll enjoy doing for a living.

Choosing a School

If you’re still scratching your head, you can search up to five majors at once at our College Selector Tool, which takes into account your interests, budget, and school information like geographic region and degrees offered. It even lets you plug in your Facebook info to find out which schools your friends have studied at.

We also have lists of best schools for any major you might be considering, from business to biological science, English to engineering.

Tell Us What You Think

How did you choose your major? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.