Switching Majors – Pros and cons

As a first year student, you believe that the major you have chosen is the career you will have for the rest of your working life. It seems as a college student everyone we talk to says “these are the best four years of your life.” These words can send you into a spiral, wondering if you’re spending your Friday nights right or if the major you have chosen is what you want to do for the next fifty years. Before even truly experiencing the subject matter, students are expected to choose a major that will define their next four years, it is no wonder that students feel unsure about the major they chose.

At some point all students face the thought of feeling lost or unsure about what you are doing, and it is completely normal.

The decision to change majors is often anxiety-inducing for students. This could be because of the fear of disappointing their parents or the belief that they’re too far along in their chosen path, even if they feel it’s not a good fit for them. This decision can trigger feelings of loneliness and isolation from peers that seem to have it all figured out. However, studies have shown that switching majors is not at all uncommon and actually produces positive results.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 80% of students change their major at least once during their college career. While on average, students switch majors an estimated three times before graduation. The Education Advisory Board did a study that found that college students who changed majors were about 4% more likely to graduate than students who did not.

There are two factors that typically affect you when deciding whether or not to change your major: time and money. For some, extending their graduation date to change their major is not a problem, but with those added semester(s) you will be paying more tuition.

Before switching majors do research into what jobs you can get with that major. See if you can picture yourself having that job as your career.

The bottom line is that if you have hesitations or second thoughts about the major you have chosen, talk to someone. There a multitude of resources to help guide you through this time.

Often, Tarleton’s professors have been in the fields they are teaching in for a while and they know all the in’s and out’s that might help you make this decision. Talk to your designated faculty advisor, or go to the department you think you might be interested in. They are more than happy to help you during this time. There is also Academic Advising, currently doing remote advising and Career Services with their virtual Career Cafe.

Tarleton offers a variety of bachelor degree programs – 68 to be exact. Changing your major could turn out to be the best decision you have ever made in your time at Tarleton.