“What is the best major?” This is one of the most common questions I get from college students these days.
When I ask them what they mean by “best,” they usually clarify that by saying, “the one that pays the most.”
Given today’s economy, this is not surprising. What is surprising is the expression on their faces when they hear my answer.
My answer, like JEOPARDY! is in the form of a question… “What do you like to do?” Once we get beyond hanging out, texting, or playing video games, students begin to look deeper into themselves. Then I get, “meeting new people,” “playing and coaching sports,” or “math.” Believe it or not, the things that you like to do, that are you are passionate about, can be transformed into a meaningful lifetime career.
For example, if you like meeting new people, consider a career in sales. Sales gives you the daily opportunity to meet new people every day. Marketing is a great major to kick off your sales career.
Maybe you are passionate about playing or watching sports. Sports organizations are dynamic and managing one can be an exciting opportunity. Majoring in management to pursue this career could be just the ticket for you.
Most accountants or financial advisors will tell you they like or are comfortable working with numbers. So, if math is your obsession, accounting and finance are majors that you can count on.
If you are interested in getting more details, meet with your professors. Chat with them about their particular fields. Tell them about your passions, what you like to do and where your interests lie. You’ll be surprised about how much information you can get from them.
Finally, keep in mind you should be considering complimenting your major with extra curricular activities, internships, or jobs to round out your major. By the time you graduate, you should have a well-rounded portfolio, backed by your education, experience, and most importantly, your passion.
Howard, an Associate Professor of Marketing in the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at the California State University Fullerton, earned his Ph.D. from Temple University. Prior to joining the faculty at Cal State, Howard was on the faculty at Drexel University and The Pennsylvania State University. A native of Philadelphia, Howard has extensive experience in the public and private sectors working for organizations such as the Department of Defense, Motorola, and the CSX railroad. His research expertise is in branding, sustainability, strategic pricing, and education. In addition to teaching at Cal State, Howard has a consulting business focused on branding. You can follow Howard on Twitter or connect with him atLinkedin.