'Major' Decisions: How to Find the Right Field of Study
Published on Apr 6, 2023 by Yasmina Achlim
Here are a few tips for when you’re trying to figure out what to study after high school.
Some students immediately know what they want to study in college, while others are still undecided as they walk into their first post-high school classroom. It’s fine either way. If you don’t know right away what you want to pursue in school, there are several resources to help you choose.
Consider Your Passions
First, think about what you love to do, and the subject matters you excel in. Have you always wanted to be a graphic designer? Are you interested in animation? Maybe cinematography feels like your calling.
“Oftentimes, we see that many high school students do truly know what they’re passionate about and know exactly what it is they want to study. I think confusion or doubt can sometimes kick in though when the opinions or wishes of others start to distract from that,” says Brandon Gibbs, Full Sail’s Assistant Director of Campus Admissions.
“While it is important to have the support of your friends and family, you should try to block out any noise when thinking through your future path.”
Research the Right Major
Research which field of study best complements the career you want. Some fields of study are more specialized (such as engineering or game development), but there’s not always one straight and narrow path to a desired career field. The good news is that you can usually find out which field of study is right for you online.
“Searching ‘Which degree programs are best for cybersecurity?’ or ‘What degree do I need for character modeling?’ will help get you off on the right foot, providing the perspective and experience of others on what has worked and not worked for them,” advises Brandon.
Consider Your Goals
Your academic and career goals should be considered when picking your path. “It only makes sense to begin a program that moves you in the direction of your long term goals,” says Brandon. “Any other direction, while possibly still beneficial in ways, is only delaying you from achieving those larger goals.”
But remember – your short-term goals are just as important as your long-term ones, so be sure to lay out some smaller achievable benchmarks to hit along the way, too.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you’re feeling a little lost determining career goals and which courses to take, you can also carve out some time to talk to an advisor, such as a guidance counselor or a career development specialist. This person’s job is to help you match your interests and passions with a particular field of study.
Find Nearby Internships and Volunteer Opportunities
An internship or volunteer opportunity is a great way to get some work experience and figure out if you actually enjoy what you’re thinking of studying. “I would advise students to first think about which industry they best see themselves in, and from there identify which companies within that field might seem like a good fit for them,” suggests Brandon.
“If a student needs assistance or ideas throughout this process, contacting admissions or enrollment personnel at their college of choice is a great next step.”