Factors to consider when choosing your major

Factors to consider when choosing your major

When filling out university application form, many high school students are entangled between the different majors to choose. Are you listening to your parents, your teachers or yourself? Do you choose the popular major or the one that suits you? After all, it is an important decision that will determine what the next four years of college life will look like, and it also paves the way to your future career path. So, what factors need to be considered? How to choose a major for your college?


How to choose a major and career direction based on your personality

The renowned American psychologist and professor, John L. Holland, created the career development model. He divides people’s personalities into six categories, and makes a specific analysis of the professional and occupational tendencies corresponding to each type of personality, which can be used as a reference for choosing a major. If you are curious, you can take an online test here to guide your career choices on how to choose a major.


  • You are fact-based

    Personality traits: People with this type of personality tend to be low-key and cautious, do things seriously and are often maverick. The most introverted people tend to be in this category. If you consider yourself an introvert, you need to pay special attention to this category.

    Recommended majors: mostly theory-based such as Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, Basic Mathematical Sciences, Physics, Applied Physics, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Geology, Metallurgical Engineering and Microelectronics Manufacturing Engineering.

    Occupational directions: researchers in natural and social sciences; technicians in chemistry, metallurgy, electronics, radio, television, aircraft, aircraft pilots, computer operators, etc.

  • You have a flair for artistic elements

    Personality traits: sensual, sensitive and full of imagination.

    Recommended majors: creative majors such as Chinese language and literature, editing and publishing, advertising, musicology, painting, photography and animation.

    Occupational directions: all kinds of artistic creation work. Such as practitioners in music, dance, literature, painting, calligraphy, photography, art commentators, radio program choreographers, hosts, art, jewelry maker and interior designer.

  • You enjoy hands-on involvement

    Personality traits: relatively frank and upright, modest and honest, with a tenacious character.

    Recommended majors: hands-on work such as mechanical design and automation, vehicle engineering, water supply and drainage engineering, surveying and mapping engineering, agricultural mechanization and automation.

    Occupational direction: All kinds of engineering and technical work that require a certain amount of physical strength, such as: mechanical operation, maintenance, installation workers, mechanical engineers, technicians, electricians, carpenters, miners, surveyors, drivers and farmers.

  • You thrive on socializing

    Personality traits: enthusiastic, kind, generous, patient and persuasive.

    Recommended majors: work that requires socializing and working with others, such as preschool education, special education, secretarial education, administrative management, public utility management, labor and social security, clinical medicine and rehabilitation.

    Occupational directions: various work in service to others, such as medical staff, teachers, childcare personnel, administrative personnel, management personnel in the service industry of clothing, food, housing and transportation.

  • You are enterprising

    Personality traits: outgoing, confident and optimistic, adventurous, possess critical thinking and leadership.

    Recommended majors: human resource management, business administration, national economic management, investment and credit management.

    Occupational directions: managers of entrepreneurs, government officials, businessmen, managers of administrative departments and units.

  • You have an eye for details

    Personality traits: pay attention to details, work with precise accuracy, obey arrangements and calm.

    Recommended majors: accounting, financial management, tourism management, library science and information resource management.

    Occupational directions: accountant, cashier, statistician, typist, secretary, office personnel, librarian, travel, foreign trade clerk, courier and auditor.


Where do your interests lie?

As the saying goes, “interest is the best motivator”. Everyone has different interests and hobbies. At this point, neither parents nor teachers can make you like something. You need to start from the things you are interested in and find out where your interests lie. When someone has interest in a certain topic, the motivation to dwell deeper into it is higher. The subject major you choose will accompany you for four years. Just imagine, if you spend four years of youth in a major that you are not interested in, it will be a waste of time.


Understanding of the industry

As a high school student, your understanding of all walks of life is bound to be limited, so you need to seek the opinions and suggestions of your relatives, friends and teachers from different industries. First, seek to gain a general understanding of each industry and see which one interests you the most. Then select a few industries of interest to do deeper research. Focus on the industry’s future development trends and employability.

Finally, review your own personality and come to a conclusion if the industry matches your own personality. Remember not to mindlessly choose the current popular industries, because what is popular now does not mean that it will be popular in the future.


What your resources allow

The resources mentioned here include family background, economic status and social influence. The choice of some majors requires economic support, such as fine arts and dance. This is because the course materials needed to accomplish these majors are usually higher than the rest. Extra costs are needed to purchase art and dance materials which are expensive. Students may also need to secure venues to practise dancing or for showcasing of works. What’s more, employment opportunities for these industries are lower and graduates may take a much longer time to find employment.

In terms of family background and social influence, getting into the political or acting and singing industry may require someone to pull strings in the background. You typically see the daughters or sons of some celebrities securing acting roles in a film easily. For those with no supporting figure, they tend to go the long way from first theatrical works before getting noticed and finally receiving the opportunity to go for casting. If there is no influential person to help you after graduation, certain industries are more difficult to enter.


Next, you may be interested in How to decide if a college is right for you.

Leave a Reply