Colleges and Universities: Choosing the Right Fit
Choosing a major field of study can be a difficult decision, and today's college students are encouraged to weigh several factors before choosing an area of focus for a four-year degree program. Important major considerations include overall program cost, salary expectations, employment rates for employees in the field and advanced degree opportunities. Ultimately, students must decide which field will offer the best return-on-investment, or ROI, for their postsecondary education.
This comprehensive guide uses measured student outcomes, job market statistics and other higher education data to explore the various benefits and drawbacks of the nation's most popular undergraduate major subjects. Our goal is to provide a helpful resource for students who are unsure about which major is the best choice for them financially, professionally and personally. According to a recent report from the University of La Verne, roughly half of all college freshmen enter college undecided about their major.
Choowe students worry that changing their major will delay graduation and, as a result, significantly increase their overall tuition costs. However, a study at Western Kentucky University found that shifting major fields had a " minimal impact " on planned graduation times. Furthermore, the data showed that full-time students who changed majors at least once reported higher graduation rates than those who remained in the same field for their entire bachelor's program.
Students typically tend to their major based on career-related factors on job availability employment rates in their proposed field. The following table lists the most popular majors among today's college graduates; the data was originally published in a report from Georgetown University titled, 'The Economic Value of College Majors.
Employment rates will differ between professionals who enter the workforce with a bachelor's degree and those who go on to earn a master's or other advanced credential. Studies have also found that employment rates varied between new graduates and bachelor's degree-holders with multiple years of professional experience.
The following table from Georgetown's 'Hard Times' report shows hlp rates resume templates for kids new bachelor's graduates, experienced bachelor's graduates and master's degree-holders:. College alumni can be a helpful source of information for students who are exploring different areas of study help me choose a college considering a change in their major focus.
These individuals mw valuable insights about their major for both current students and job-seekers. A recent poll by Payscale found that degree-holding alumni generally recommended majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics STEM fields; other areas with chose approval ratings included business, accounting and finance, nursing and health care management.
Alternatively, majors related to the arts, humanities and social sciences held low approval ratings among college alumni. Every student uses a different set of criteria to determine their major field of study. The FAQ below will explore different major areas in terms of both long- and short-term career goals. Each professional pathway will be unique as far as these three priorities are concerned. Students should first determine which of these priorities is most science recommendation letter, and then explore majors that reflect their objectives.
Some students pursue certain majors based on financial earning and benefits potential. Others focus less on salaries and more on launching a fun, meaningful in a career that interests and engages them while some choose to earn an advanced degree after graduation. The following table shows the median annual salaries for college graduates aged and in the 15 major subgroups. Generally speaking, careers in medicine, business administration and STEM-related fields offered the highest annual salaries; meanwhile, careers in social sciences, arts and humanities paid the lowest wages.
A report from FiveThirtyEight found that the following 10 positions were the national leaders in median annual earnings among recent graduates.
Please note that all but one of these positions is in a STEM field, and that eight of them are concentrated in engineering. Alternatively, the following table lists FiveThirtyEight's 10 lowest paying professional roles in terms of median annual salary for newly graduated students.
In contrast to the first table, only one of the chkose positions is related to STEM-related studies. Today's students are encouraged to find a major and corresponding career that reflects their personality and work habits.
However, many education experts believe that students perform better at the college level when they are passionate about their major subject s. Self-assessment usually narrows your prospective choices considerably. Delving into the various majors still under consideration can help you further hone in on the right program. MBTI uses habits and attitudes to generate algorithmic individual profiles for men and women. This test plays an integral role in today's corporate culture.
Myers-Briggs categorizes individuals using eight distinct x preferences that can be combined to create 16 different personality types. Each preference is assigned a unique letter of the alphabet. The eight preferences are as follows:. Interaction: Extroverts E prefer to interact with others in ne outer world, while Introverts I tend to focus on their own inner worlds.
Information: Some individuals prefer to process information through Sensing Sor basic analysis, while others lean toward Intuition N in order to interpret and define information they encounter. Decisions: Some tend to make decisions based on logic and objectivity; this is known in Myers-Briggs as Thinking T.
Others make decisions on a case-by-case basis, also known as Feeling F. Structure: Some individuals prefer Judging Jor using a set of rules to inform chooss they process information and experiences. Others lean toward Perceiving Por keeping an open mind when it comes to information and experiences. Source: Ball State University. Each of the 16 W Personality Types includes one preference from each of the four groups listed above. For example, ENTJ types are typically extroverted individuals who lean on intuition, thinking dhoose judging when it comes to everyday decisions and interactions.
The table below lists all 16 types and a sampling of Ball State's suggested major subgroups. Roughly one-third of bachelor's program graduates will go on to earn a graduate degree. However, advanced ocllege are more common in certain academic fields than others. Some majors are encouraged to earn a master's degree or ph. For favorite objects, post-bachelor's education may prove to be an unnecessary investment that forces students to incur more tuition debt without improving their standing in the current workforce.
We've categorized each of these majors using the 15 major subgroups above and calculated an overall average for each subgroup. These findings are listed in the table below. Please note: some specific majors were counted for more than one major subgroup.
The demand for academic majors in different subjects will vary with hiring trends, industry growth and other employment factors. According to CareerBuilder, students who earn degrees in business and STEM-related fields are considered the most in-demand as far as employers are concerned.
The table below lists the 10 most in-demand majors and the percentage of current employers who hire these graduates, according to CareerBuilder data:. Students can determine the overall expense of a bachelor's program by calculating the degree's return-on-investment, or Chkose.
This figure represents the total cost of a four-year program tuition, fees, books and all other expenses subtracted from the degree recipient's career earnings. Their calculations factored in average tuition costs at public and private universities, median annual salaries and per-year increases w inflation and cost-of-living.
Their findings for majors with best left and worst ROI right are featured in the table below; ROIs for public and private college graduates are both included. Please note that ROIs in each major differ by specific careers; for this reason, the best and worst lists are not ranked. Before declaring a major, students should research their field of choice to determine how rigorous the workload will be for a four-year program. A study by the National Survey of Student Engagement recently calculated the weekly love essay of some of the including but popular major fields.
The study looked at reading demands and course requirements i. The NSSE's findings ranked alphabetically by major group are featured in the table below:. According to USA Todaythis interdisciplinary option typically requires the student to write a proposal, present their major to faculty members and curate advisors to provide academic assistance throughout the course of the program.
The ' Individualized Studies ' option at the University of Washington is one prominent example of this alternative degree pathway. Students can supplement their bachelor's credential by pursuing a minor in addition to their major program.
Minor fields follege study typically require four to eight courses in an area of study m is different from the student's major.
According to New York Times contributor Michelle Topic for essay, most students choose a minor that will either "complement or counterbalance" their major. A creative writing major might minor in literature, while a business major may pursue a minor in finance or accounting. Students may also minor in a foreign language in order ,e boost their hireability on the global market.
Students today are not limited to one major field of study when it comes to choosing their degree pathway. Many learning institutions allow students to create hybrid or specialized degrees that incorporate multiple major fields.
Students are not necessarily limited to one major field of study. Most granting institutions allow students to 'double-major' in certain fields, and some even offer 'triple-major' options. A Vanderbilt University study found that many students who double-majored chose a foreign language as one of their major chooe.
Other popular combinations included business and economics; political science and philosophy; engineering and computer science; and biology and psychology. In recent years, online education has emerged as a hugely popular alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar learning.
As the demand has grown year-to-year, more degree-granting institutions have begun to offer web-based courses for students. This option is especially attractive to students with full-time jobs, childcare obligations or other commitments that prevent them from studying religious college essays a college campus.
Online learning also tends to be more cost-effective, since students do not have to pay for room and board, meal plans and other fees associated with on-campus living. An associate degree is given to undergraduate students who successfully complete two years of coursework.
Earning an associate credential at an accredited gelp or technical college can be a cost-effective option, since most if not all course credits will be transferable to a bachelor's program and the tuition at these institutions tend to be more affordable than public universities or private colleges.
Certain schools offer specialized associate degrees in fields like computer science, nursing and education. However, the bulk of earners go on to pursue a bachelor's degree. Some students earn credit through professional experience by sitting for exams that test subject-related competencies.
More than 2, accredited colleges and universities offer the College Level Examination Programwhich awards course credit for those who pass an experience-based exam. Five basic CLEP exams are available in English composition, college mathematics, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences, with an additional 28 exams in specific subjects. This help me choose a college section contains a list of professional cboose, blogs, social media outlets and other links that will be useful to students who are currently exploring their major options.
Additional Resources. Subscribe Sign up for our monthly newsletter to get the latest news and updates! What News Interests You? Online Programs. Financial Aid.
Colleges and Universities: Choosing the Right Fit
What Major Fits Your Personality?
How to Choose a College
How to Choose the Right College. Imagine colleges are Neapolitan ice cream. That's right. Seek out personal recommendations. The best way to get started finding colleges is to speak to those around you. Focus on your academic goals. When you think about schools, you need to consider what you really want in an education. There's no magic formula for choosing a college, but there are steps you can take to find a good fit. Use this tool to start your journey. Go College Search Step-By-Step · How to Find a College That · Campus Life. Choosing a college is stressful and making sure you make the right decision can often feel like a daunting task. To help out with the process, here are some.