Am I in the right major? Have you been asking yourself this question lately? Are you wondering if the particular major that you are currently in and the employment opportunities it leads to are really something you want to pursue?
You may have had an idea earlier, but now after some time in college you’re giving serious consideration to changing your major. The choice of a “major” is one of the key decisions you are asked to make as you go through college. So how can you know for sure that you have made the right decision or if you need to change?
How Do I Decide?
Search your heart: What is God’s purpose for your life? Are you dedicated to finding it out?
- Ask God to help you understand His calling for your life
- Be attentive to what His Word says to you personally
- Choose to honor Him with your life no matter how or where He leads
Choosing a major is less confusing if you have a godly mission in mind for which to prepare. Romans 12:1 & 2
Use your head: How has God uniquely created you? What are your interests, abilities, and values?
- Investigate what motivates you and what you believe you can do best to honor God with your life
- Take ability and interest inventories to help you discover more about yourself
- Maintain a personal copy of your college transcripts (check sheet) and a list of extra curricular activities
- Explore various types of employment and what is expected (preparation/skills)
- Get involved in career-related part-time work
- Attend recruiting and other career-related events and search the web (CareerCentral, O-Net, etc.) for employment information
With all of this input, exercise good stewardship over what you discover. – I Peter 4:10-11
Get godly advice from the home front: What do my parents, pastor, youth pastor, college teachers, and academic advisor think about my plans?
- Seek out counsel on a one-to-one basis
- Ask important questions and receive personal advice
- Talk with experienced employees or employers in your area of interest
- What do you like most about your position? What do you like least?
- How did you prepare for this position?
- What was your college major and minor?
- What might be a better major and minor combination?
- If you were to attend college again what would you do differently as far as a major or minor?
- What would you advise me to do as I consider preparing for this type of employment?
- How do you determine God’s will?
- Who else would you recommend that I talk to for advice?
- Receive a good overview on how each one views your abilities and aspirations
- Be grateful for who God brings into your life during this process
Trust that He is in control and that His Word is sufficient to provide direction during this important time in your life. II Timothy 3:14-17
Consider each of the following steps as you make important choices; think of it as a refining process. Each step helps you get closer and closer to what God really wants for your life.
- Collect information about your interests and abilities
- Make a list of the options you are considering
- Check out the majors offered in the college catalog
- Study God’s Word and pray for His guidance
- Seek out godly advice on the wisdom of each of your options
- Narrow your choices and seek additional advice and information
- Understand what academic skills are needed for each particular field of study
- Choose a major and keep notes on your alternatives
- Consider one of your alternatives as a minor to complement your major
- Measure the quality of your decision and reconsider as God leads
- Seek out godly advice on the wisdom of your choice
- Continue the process
As you consider your choice, over time you may find that the initial choice was simply foundational to a much more suitable choice. In the process, follow Solomon’s example and pray for discernment; God will bless. I Kings 3:5-10
God will graciously lead as you demonstrate to Him and to others your dependence upon His guidance. This includes “presenting yourself a living sacrifice” as you prepare to serve Him. The major you choose will play an important role in that preparation. Trust that He has your best interests in mind. Proverbs 3:5-6
Be truthful with yourself and with others if you are struggling with what will be your college major. Others will appreciate your courage and willingness to seek their advice. In the process you will become more confident in your decision. More than half of those attending college change their major at least once and some even twice. Many of those changes are related to not having given the decision-making process an honest effort. Matthew 6:31-34
Choosing a major is somewhat like deciding on the purchase of a pair of shoes. It is vital to choose a pair that fits both your feet and the purpose you have in mind. Making the selection is just the beginning. Using the pair of shoes you purchased is ultimately what you want to do in order to benefit from the choice you made. Likewise, choosing a major that fits your abilities and interests will help prepare you to enter into a Christ-honoring place of service. Using the skills and abilities you have acquired in your education will help you perform in a variety of employment positions in light of His calling and purpose for your life.
The value of a Christian liberal arts education: Employers often look to see if the candidate has a particular major, but that is only part of the interview process. Communication and leadership skills, personal discipline, integrity, and a teachable spirit have helped many individuals enter and succeed in various areas of employment outside their particular major. BJU’s Christian liberal arts education provides a sound preparation for the whole person (spiritually, educationally, and culturally). Students are encouraged to be involved as much as possible during their training to become a well-rounded individual no matter what particular major they chose, because this may open up a variety of opportunities to consider upon graduation.
In conclusion: As you decide on your choice of majors consider the following to help you find a good fit between who you are, how the Lord is leading in your life, and the major you choose to help you prepare for a Christ-honoring future:
- Dedicate yourself to finding God’s will for your life
- Investigate who you are (ability tests and interest inventories)
- Seek godly counsel from your parents, pastor, and professors
- Prayerfully consider how the Lord is leading as you commit your ways to Him
- Make a decision, act upon it, and be alert to how things work out
- Share your testimony with others as you acknowledge God’s leading
- Learn more about the quality of your decision as you go through college
- Refine your decision and give God the credit for graciously leading
As God’s will and purpose for your life become clearer, changing your major may need to take place. Determine now to choose a major that fits how God has created you and helps you become better prepared to use your abilities and interests for His honor and glory. Resolve to make your decision a Christ-honoring one, and He will enable you to make a wise choice. Psalm 37: 3-5
After making your tentative decision, ask the Records Office for a prospective checksheet that can display how your existing credits contribute toward degree requirements in the major that you are considering.
Official Steps to Change Your Major
- Go to StudentCentral.
- From the student drop down menu, select update, then select major/minor change.
- Select your new major.
- See the dean of the school of your new major.
- Meet with your newly assigned advisor.
Career Counseling for current students:
Current students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with Career Services staff to help you in the decision-making process.
- Strong Interest Inventory: A 30 minute inventory taken in the Career Services Office at no charge. Follow-up counsel covers a detailed report to help the student become more confident about God's leading in his choice of majors and future career path.