There is nothing wrong with entering college with an undecided or undeclared major as long as you have a solid plan to help you make a decision and eventually declare a major. The idea that a career plan will just materialize after taking a few basic college courses is unrealistic and expensive. Most families do not even take a trip to Disney World without a plan, and yet, we do not think twice about sending a son or daughter off to college without a career plan and with a price tag of $20,000 or more a year. Here are some suggestions for developing a plan:
1) See a professional career advisor. In the past, we relied on our high school guidance counselors to provide individualized career direction; however, with the number of students for which they are responsible and all the non-career type issues that demand their attention, it is unrealistic to expect in-depth career advising for each student. A good career advisor is a wise investment. The money you spend helping your student find a career path before he or she enters college could save your student thousands of dollars in the long run.
2) Set clear expectations with your student. Communicate with your son or daughter that an undeclared major is not merely a pass to postpone an important decision; rather, it is a mandate to pursue all the available resources to help him or her find a meaningful career path. Included in those resources is the Career Services department located on most college campuses – use it!
3) Consider a less expensive school until your student decides on a field of study. Why spend top education dollars when there is no plan to graduate in a specific field?
Don’t let your indecision about a college major cost you thousands of extra dollars for a degree. Do the work of career exploration!