Changing majors

For many, the hardest part of college comes before actually enrolling. It’s that age-old question: “What do I want to be when I grow up?”

Besides the people who know for certain that they want to become a policeman, lawyer or radiologist, very few students enter college knowing exactly what they want to do when they grow up.

More often than not, students will come to college with only the vaguest idea of what they want to do and select their course of study from there. While this works for some, others will inevitably go through two or three changes before committing to a major and minor.

Ferris forensic biology senior Cassie Halt came to Ferris four years ago as a criminal justice minor.

“I knew I wanted to have a criminal justice element to what I wanted to go into,” Halt said, “but ultimately criminal justice wasn’t it. They have more of a focus on psychology and sociology, and that wasn’t what I wanted, so I changed to forensic bio, which focuses more on what I want to do.”

According to a study by Pace University, approximately 75 percent of students who declare a major before entering college will end up changing it at least once, and the reasons vary greatly. Some students have the misconception that the major they choose now will determine what they do for the rest of their lives. With this mentality, many students are stressed about planning their future around their major.

The Pace study also revealed your choice of major doesn’t confine you to working in just one field until retirement. Instead, it shows employers you have skills in a specific area, and those skills are also applicable to many positions in the career world.

Another reason for switching majors is the failure to meet the requirements or demands that a certain program enforces. Austin McGuiness, a freshman who came to Ferris as a pre-nursing major, encountered this in his first semester of study.

“With nursing, they have the strict progression policy when it comes to grades,” McGuiness said, who’s since changed to healthcare information management. “I didn’t get the B minus I needed in both of the sciences I was taking. I changed to that because I still wanted a career in the healthcare field.”

Coming to college brings students one step closer to entering the working world, but the uncertainty about their future is nothing new. Ultimately, many college students will go through major changes to discover the best path for their career.