Tips For Identifying Interests Before Choosing A College Major

Posted on: 6 October 2015

The college major that you choose is going to determine the quality of life that you experience in the future. If you choose a career that you hate, you might be stuck doing something that you don't enjoy for several decades until your retire. If you choose a career that does not have a lot of job openings right now, you make it difficult to support yourself. Here are some tips for identifying your interests before you go to college.

1. Try Everything

Your local college likely has a number of different career readiness courses for engineers, construction workers, and autoworkers. During the summer, consider taking a class or two in a field that you think that you might enjoy. This will allow you to get some experience in fields that you would not have otherwise been able to try by staying in high school and possibly help you narrow down what kind of majors you would consider. 

Another option for trying new things is to go online and see what there is available to model the types of topics that you would be learning about for a particular major while in college. For example, if you think that you might want to go into Computer Science, consider taking coding classes online. There are several different interactive compilers for your code that allow you to simply code in your browser without having to set anything up. This will let you get a taste of programming without paying the college bill ahead of time.

2. Take a Gap Year

Consider taking a gap year between high school and college to explore some other career options. Volunteer in a preschool classroom or go to another country and help teach English as a classroom assistant in order to see if you think teaching would be an enjoyable career. Work in the hospital as an orderly in order to see if you like that type of atmosphere. Take painting and drawing classes at your art museum to see if you have an artistic bent. The gap year will give you time to get more involved in possible careers and get a better taste of what you like.

2. Take an Assessment

Finally, take a Strong Interest Inventory. This is great if you are short on time. A Strong Interest Inventory is an assessment that asks you questions that help you identify what you truly love to do in the world. It will give you a results list that is easy to understand and fairly comprehensive, allowing you to look at all of your interests in a single glance and narrow down the possible college majors that you would enjoy.

For more information, talk to a consultant who helps people interpret their Strong Interest Inventories. For professional assessments, contact a company such as Career Assessment Site.