Helping Your Teen Choose a College Major

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college major

Guiding your child to succeed in all areas of life is every parent’s wish. This guidance process is even more critical when your teen gains college admission and has to choose a college major. Did you know 50-80% of students in America change college majors at least once in their four-year study? For several parents, this process will be the first time teenagers make a life-altering decision. Therefore, offering direction should be a deliberate process.

  1. Consider their current interests and natural strengths

Choosing a college major closely in conjunction with your child’s natural interests and academic strengths is the starting point. First of all, sit with your child and begin to take an inventory of their hobbies, academic interests, and talents. For example, if your teen is actively involved in extracurricular activities that include debates, speeches, or Model UN enactments, you may have an aspiring Communications or Political Science major.

Sometimes, however, it may not be a clear cut path for you both, but there are alternatives you can employ to arrive at the best decision. Your child should dig deeper to discover the things they feel most drawn to besides their academic strengths. In these circumstances, you must avoid deciding for your young adult. Just because you did a salary analysis of viable careers or college majors does not mean you should force a major down the throat of your child.

Furthermore, avoid coercing that young aspiring major to follow in your professional footsteps. For example, if you are an engineer, it is unhealthy to pressure your teen to take up that course just because you’re already in it. Your sole role is to offer guidance and not to enforce your wishes.

  1. Consider potential financial outcomes.

Admittedly, this point is not the most significant thing to ponder over. However, it is absolutely necessary to allow your child to see reality with future salaries in various professions. For example, an engineering degree comes with a starting salary of $ 60,000 annually. On the other hand, a Biochemistry major can lead to a job in the baby food industry with an annual starting salary of $34,953.

Therefore, by acknowledging potential financial outcomes, you can both agree on which college to settle on. It helps quell the possibility of accumulating high student loans, especially when a pricier tertiary institution is chosen. 

  1. Seek help from professionals in the industry

Conferring with a professional in an industry your college aspirant wishes to venture, is a great way to learn more about the career. You will have two options to explore with your teenager. The first is to carry out job-shadowing, and the second is to conduct an interview. Either way, you will have the opportunity to learn directly from an actual source. This strategy allows the student to envision what a typical day will entail and whether it’s something they will love doing for the rest of their lives.

To conclude, your guidance should purely be from a supportive angle as the student makes the ultimate decision. It takes a lot of skill to help a young mind analyze situations to arrive at a conclusive decision. From this point on, they will be better equipped to make other life-altering decisions on their own.

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