Switching Majors -Why, What, When.

<p>I keep hearing about how many kids change majors. In theory doesn't your "S" or "D" sort of prequalify themselves by virture of the SAT and ACT they've taken. I mean presumably they can do the work...right? I'd be interested in hearing why this happens, which year it generally happens in, and also some examples of which major is dropped and which is taken up. Is it simply a matter of kids getting in over thier heads, becoming disillusioned, or what? Is this less common at LAC's where less emphasis is placed on a strictly defined "job" related major?</p>

<p>people change majors for plenty of reasons. some people start to study something and then realize they hate it. others realize they just aren't good at it and choose to do something else that they are good at. </p>

<p>i know some people whose grades weren't good enough for their major so they had to switch out.</p>

<p>some people switch after one semester, some later into it. one of my best friends changed from a marketing major to a psychology major in his 4th year, then from psychology to biology in his 5th year, and then back to marketing in his 6th year. it ended up taking him 7 years to get his bach. degree.</p>

<p>All during growing up I KNEW what I wanted to be: an aeronautical engineer, designing airplanes. I used to hang out at the airport (general aviation side) like kids today would hang out at the mall, doing anything to be around airplanes.</p>

<p>I went to Ga Tech, majored in aerospace engineering, and began a co-op job, working in the defense industry. I did not like it and knew that being an engineer was not for me. In my second year I changed my major to Physics and changed my co-op job from defense industry to a job with the air pollution branch of the state's Department of Natural Resources. That later led to a graduate degree with a special program in air pollution meteorology and the start of my first (of several) careers.</p>

<p>S ( a freshman at large state univ.)applied as an engineering major and ended up changing his major before he ever even entered college. After being accepted to college of engineering, he decided that engineering really wasn't for him and that he had probably chosen it for the wrong reasons (dh's major/career, very strong program at his sch., a little bit of "that's what people expect of me").<br>
Changed major to Natural Resources Policy and Administration. Much more "down his alley", better suited to his personality and interests. </p>

<p>He told me just this week that many of his friends were dropping out of engineering and he was glad he changed before even getting started.
Most are dropping it because it's such a tough major, others because they are just finding it's not what they really want to do.
I think engineering in particular is a major that a lot of bright kids (esp. boys) are sort of steered into without really knowing what it's really all about. My H. says he felt he was pushed in that direction from an early age because he was so good at math. Said he doesn't think he really knew what engineers actually did until he graduated and got his first job in the nuclear power field. He likes his job and has had a good career but has said that he wishes he had looked into all the other options when he was in high sch. rather then letting himself be steered along by well meaning parents and GC's.</p>

<p>My son is also in engineering. He likes math and science, and is good at it. However, he doesn't plan on being an engineer...he thinks he wants to be a lawyer! If he wasn't making A's, I'd certainly advise him to get the heck out of engineering!</p>

<p>I remember changing my major several times. Sometimes I think I ended up as a pharmacist because that was my choice in my sophomore year. Who knows, if I had one more term to think about it, I might have gone in a different direction. </p>

<p>Digmedia hit the nail on the head. Without real-life experience, students don't really understand what a career entails. I certainly empathize with students who have difficulty choosing a major.</p>

<p>Lets see here - one kiddo went to elite LAC - accepted/started in pre-med - changed direction spring of sophmore year - graduated with completely different degree (along with a teaching cert as well) - grad school to specialize somewhat - and is now successful at a college in the athletic department.</p>

<p>Other one - at a large 'state U' - started pre-physical therapy - took a survey course - discovered not for her - changed direction - will graduate in a year in the field that she absolutely loves - happy camper.</p>

<p>Many a student has absolutely NO clue what they want to do when they grow up - some do. It is very common for a college student to change direction at some point - maybe it was a class the took - a new interest - that has opened their eyes to where they want to take the college journey to. There are many a student also - who hold degrees in areas that have absolutely nothing to do with what they are doing now. </p>

<p>Best advice is to allow the student to investigate and make the choices of where their college education is to take them - even if they trip along the way and want to change direction.</p>

<p>OP - did you know at 17-18 exactly what you wanted to do with the rest of your life and educate yourself as such?? Keep an open mind and allow the student to find their way - even if it is not a direction that you personally would travel.</p>

<p>Never mind at 17-18; I'm well over that and am now on my 3rd career (and possessing graduate and professional degrees - I graduated from the 22nd grade)! Isn't college a time to explore? And take a look at things that weren't available in high school, or that you didn't have time for? I'd be surprised if everyone went into college knowing what they wanted to do and how best to get there. While some may change majors because the original was too hard, many change majors as they continue to grow up and mature, and as their interests change.</p>

<p>I suppose my question is "Why not?"</p>