Even after the college applications are completed, the acceptance letters have rolled in and you've decided upon your school of choice, there's still one important decision to be made: choosing a college major.
HuffPost Live tackled the topic earlier this week, featuring Taylor Trudon (Associate Editor of HuffPost Teen), Will McGuinness (HuffPost College Senior Editor), Anne Mongillo (Dean of Academic Advisement at Hofstra University), Spencer Brown (freshman at Rutgers University) and Dale Stephens (founder of uncollege.org).
“A lot of the time I find a student thinks they’re supposed to be in a certain major, like engineering or business or something with an obvious end point with a position. Maybe they’ll be excited about it but a lot of times they’re not,” Mongillo said. “I’ll ask them, ‘What do you like? What have you always like to do?’ I can start to talk to them about the transferrable skills that go into that major.”
While Mongillo suggests students should follow their passions and study what they’re most interested in, McGuinness emphasized how students consider economic factors when it comes to choosing their college major because tuition costs are a significant financial investment.
“I don’t think you want to pay for college twice,” McGuinness said. “It’s not going to be a make or break decision for your entire life. Everyone has different careers as they mature, but you want to make sure that you got out of what you put into it, and that's money for knowledge.”
Trudon explained that their teen bloggers at HuffPost Teen often write about how stressful college decisions are.
“Is this going to steer me on the path I want to go on? Is this worth putting in four years studying this particular subject or topic?” Trudon described the questions teens often ask themselves. “Those are all difficult decisions to make, and that anxiety and pressure stems from this idea that whatever you choose as a major is going to set you up for the rest of your life."
Brown, a current student, talked about figuring out the best major for himself that would lead to a lucrative career.
"When choosing a college, I compared the debt I would be accumulating in college versus the average salary career I was looking at when I came out," Brown said. "And of course, choosing the major that would give me the best return on that investment."
Tell us: How important do you think choosing your college major is? Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet @HuffPostTeen.