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Many students struggle to choose an appropriate college major


Friday, November 22, 2013

There are many important factors to consider when choosing a college major, including employment prospects and the level of interest the student has in a given field of study. However, according to a report published by ACT, many students are choosing majors that don't necessarily align with their personal interests.

Difficult decisions
Of the students in the graduating class of 2013 who took the ACT, 79 percent had declared their intent to pursue a specific college major. Using these responses the ACT found that only 36 percent of these students opted to major in a subject that was a good fit with their interests, based on the results of their ACT Interest Inventory profiles. Additionally, 32 percent stated an interest in pursuing a bachelor's degree in a field of study that was considered a poor fit in terms of their personal interests.

"It's important for students to have the information they need to make the best decisions about their future," said Jon Erickson, ACT president of education and career solutions. "They should be made aware that choosing a college major that reflects their interests will give them a better chance of succeeding and could also contribute to their satisfaction and happiness in school and on the job."

Ongoing support
Approximately three in every five ACT-tested high school graduates surveyed said they needed help preparing for college, including choosing the right major. To help these students, the report recommends that college admissions personnel provide students with information about academic advising and special programs for undecided students. In addition, students should inquire about internships, career counseling, and other programs and services that can help them make informed decisions about educational majors and careers.

Choosing the right major can have a significant impact on both the cost of earning a college degree and the time it takes to successfully complete college. Students who make hasty decisions regarding their major may take longer to graduate, incur additional expenses, or struggle to maintain their grade point average. For these reasons, it is important to seek the advice and guidance of a college admissions counselor before making any firm decisions.

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