Choosing a major that you are going to study for the next three to four years is a big decision! It’s understandable if you are feeling overwhelmed, and wondering how to make this decision. Pursuing a field of study which you are interested in during your time at university will open many doors for you in the future. Your career and research opportunities as well as your professional network can grow greatly when you pick the right major.
What is a major?
It is the specialized area of study which you will be pursuing during your degree. Many universities offer hundreds of majors, like Biology, Chemical Engineering, History, and Theatre. Once you enroll in a major, you will have required courses to take, along with general requirements, to complete the degree. Some institutes have options to customize your degree, or pursue a double major.
When do you declare your major?
This depends on your university policies and faculty requirements. Some universities require students to declare their major only at the end of their first or second year. While other faculties, such as engineering, may want students to confirm their major when they confirm their acceptance into the university. In addition, it’s important to note cut-off marks/grades to get a place in the major, if applicable. Some majors are more competitive than others, so the cutoffs might be higher. When you are looking at specific faculty requirements, keep in mind the cutoff percentage and pre-requisite courses you may need before the school confirms your major.
Factors influencing your decision:
- How reputed are the institute and the program?
A higher reputation and ranking for a university or program often correlates with higher quality education and facilities. Keep this in mind when looking at the different programs offered at universities. Many times, a university may be ranked lower than others in the area, but a particular program it offers is best in the region or even the country! The opposite could also be true, if you are looking at a top ranked university, a program that you want to get into may not be the top choice compared to the same program in other schools. Reputation, though not the only deciding factor, is significant as employers are more likely to hire from schools that are more renowned in academic circles.
- Employment opportunities
As you pick your major, there are a few questions you want to ask yourself. Is there a high demand for graduates in your chosen field? What other skills do you require to get a job after completing your degree? How long will it take to pay back the investment of college? Take your time to look at employment opportunities available once you graduate. Your university most likely will also host career fairs, networking sessions, and interactive sessions with faculty, to help students gain some traction on job search during the degree.
- Personal interest
Does studying this make you happy? Are you passionate about working in this field? If you like what you are studying, you are more likely to be interested and engaged in the courses, which in turn would get you higher grades and be more successful throughout your degree. Professors look for passionate students to take under their wing as teaching assistants, research associates, and even to mentor for a research-based course! Chose a major you know you will give your best in.
Most popular majors in Canada –
- Business, Management Sciences
- Petroleum or Chemical Engineering
- Software Engineering
- Business Administration
- Specialized Engineering
Choosing the right major can put your career on the path to success. Select a major that is well aligned with your interests and career aspirations. Explore your options and seek guidance from your education counselor before making a decision.