Choosing your major was one of the most stressful things when you were filling out your college applications, and until you get the college experience, it’s going to be even more stressful when you have until the end of your sophomore Spring semester to have a major settled. If you already had a major picked out and you got into the program, it’s nice to know what it’s going to be like so that way you use that experience as your intended major or the possibility to switch into another. One thing that’s important when thinking about a major is that it makes you happy and of course,  becomes your passion for the rest of your life.

Look at career options within this major

Yes, all majors guarantee a diploma, but it doesn’t mean you’ll get a job. When you are choosing a major, it would be wise to check out the job placement statistics of others who have pursued this degree. If a specific career is your reason for choosing this major, investigate the success of others and what it took to get them there. If you’re looking into a more scientific job, apply for a major in the College of Natural Sciences or the School of Public Health and Health Sciences.

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What’s the earning potential of your interest?

Choosing one of the top ten highest paying college majors might seem like a good idea, but it’s not your only option for paying the bills. If you aren’t committed to painting or playing in the UMASO (University of Massachusetts Amherst Symphony Orchestra) that you’re willing to regularly bypass your dinner, consider finding another outlet for your creativity. Writing or teaching majors can offer an individual with natural artistic ability chance to use their talents without committing to a life with unpaid bills and skipped meals.

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What is the workload like? 

Workload involved with your specific major may be of importance to you if you have to work and attend school at the same time. Some majors are more time consuming than others, especially if your major doesn’t complement your natural abilities. If you’re looking for a major with a workload that is light enough to allow you to work and pursue other interests, you should talk to your guidance counselor from your college whether it be HFA or Isenburg to see what your best options are.

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If you’re coming to UMass undecided, look into your passions and interests. Speak to your counselor from your college which is usually HFA, if you’re undecided. Then when you’re speaking to them, let them know that you have no idea what to major in because you have so many interests. They will assist you in finding out what you really like to do.  And then they will lead you to choose a major once you’re ready. You have until the second semester of sophomore year to find out what you want to study, and that’s enough time to explore different classes. Some people choose their majors once they’ve taken a class they really liked such as creative writing and then becoming an English major with a specialization in creative writing. Once you’ve got your major picked out, you can go to the department for the major and tell them that you would like to enlist as a “___” major. Then once they sign you up for it, you should be all set with a major.

So, if you’re looking for a major that pays well, remember that your passion is important. Money can be found in any way but a job that you love can’t. It’s wise that you follow your heart when choosing a major because if you’re following a major that includes more work than usual, you’re going to find it hard to get through, especially as a student at UMASS. Make sure you know what you love to do, it’ll make your major feel ten times easier. Good luck!


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Emily Adji


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