How Does Your Child Choose a College Major?
If you have friends who have already sent kids to college, you probably have heard stories about failure along with the ones on success. Failure isn’t always indicative of talent or desire; it can be caused by simple mistakes in choice and judgment. Unfortunately, that can happen at the parent level on occasion.
You Can’t Decide for Your Child
Some parents have predetermined ideas about what their children will be professionally when they are still very young, and the lesson all parents eventually learn is that their offspring have different plans and desires from those of the parents. A doctor might wish the same profession for his son, but medicine is not for everyone, or there would be more doctors than the world needs.
It is much better to coach a child to focus on what they want to do in life at a very early age than it is to simply wait for a decision or force a curriculum on them. Children should start narrowing down their career objectives by the 9th grade, and if a child enters their senior year with no clue as to what line of work interests them, it is time to have a discussion on the subject.
Their career or choice of major need not be too exact, but defining it to a broad category can save some tuition for classes at school that may not be necessary for a particular area of study.
Here are some tips that might help your child in choosing a college major.
1. You can find tests online that help your child select a major by simply choosing answers to multiple choice questions. This is a good start if a child is stuck, and the process often makes important points clear.
2. Base career objectives on marketable skills and employment in fields that are viable and will be so in the future.
3. Build on strengths, not hopes. A child who doesn’t grasp some subjects very well and really doesn’t improve with tutoring won’t do well if those subjects are requirements in a career. A student who does poorly in math will struggle in a field of study such as electrical engineering or computer programming.
Choosing a college major has to rank within the top five decisions a young person makes. What they need most from their parents is for them to be helpful and supportive.