It’s your child’s senior year of high school. They’re preparing for the next step in life – college. Choosing which school they will attend is already a huge decision. Picking the right major to study while in college is just as important. Here are a few things to remember when trying to help your child find the right major for their college experience.

Do the Research

This is the most important part of picking a college major. Most majors don’t lead to just one career. They can open the door to dozens of jobs. For example, a degree in accounting can lead to jobs as a payroll clerk, bookkeeper, tax advisor and more. Research the careers that your child would be interested in having after college. Also, make sure to look into what courses they’ll be studying. Encourage them not to shy away from a major if one or two courses seem like they will be tough. Instead, push them to look for ways to prepare for that class before the semester starts. 

Be Realistic

The thought of being an engineer may cause a person to see dollar signs since it’s such a high-paying job. Will they still be excited when professors are teaching about thermodynamics? Some majors require rigorous courses that aren’t always exciting. If it doesn’t interest your child now, it probably won’t interest them later on.

Talk to Teachers

Over time, their teachers learn so much about them. Reach out to teachers for advice about the route your child should take. Ultimately, this is your child’s decision. It wouldn’t hurt, however, to get advice from people who know their strengths and weaknesses. High school counselors are great to consult with, too.

Think About Where They’ve Excelled

A good way to figure out what a student’s college major should be is to think about what he or she is already good at. For instance, if they’ve always done well in reading and writing, majoring in English may be a good fit. Consider the subjects that come naturally to them.

Don’t Just Pick What Seems Fun

Your son or daughter shouldn’t take the easy way out when looking for a college major. It may not lead to a career that fulfills them. Then, they’ll end up in graduate school hoping to find another career path. After all, if you’re paying for tuition, they may as well get the most out of their education and college experience.

Consider Your Own Job

How does your child feel about what you and their other parent do for a living? If this is something he or she can imagine doing, they can try following in your footsteps. You both have a good idea of what responsibilities the jobs require, the education they needed for it and whether the pay is sufficient.


Let’s be real, we all want a good-paying job. While doing research on majors, look into the potential salaries of jobs that require the type of degree your student is considering. Reach out to people in that field to get a sense of their lifestyles. That way, your child can determine if it’s something they aspire to one day have.

Post-graduate Education

Does he or she want to stop at a bachelor’s degree? Are they ok with furthering their education after those 4 years? That’s also something to consider when choosing a major. If they decide to do something in the medical or legal fields, be ready for more schooling after obtaining an undergraduate degree.

Have a Plan B

If they get into college and have a change of heart about their studies, make sure they are ready to pivot. They should think about another major they’d enjoy and switch to that. It’s ok to change your mind, but they shouldn’t wait too long to make the next move. It could cost them more time in college.