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Choosing a College Major in High School - Is it Necessary?

Here's a common question I am often asked - how important is it for my student to know their intended college major while in high school?

I think there are a few ways to approach this:

1. Many students apply and enroll as "Undeclared or Undecided," and that is fine! They use their first 1-2 years to explore different classes and then can declare by their junior year. Here is a good blog post from Iona College that explains many of the FAQ about being "Undeclared." Be aware that at some schools, future majors may be tougher to get into as a junior (e.g. Engineering) so it is still advisable to do as much exploring as you can beforehand (check out steps 2 and 3 below).

2. Take part in some assessments during high school (here. is a list of many options to check out:

3. Take advantage of your local network and allow your child to job shadow as much as possible - at a vet's office, a local chiropractor, an engineering firm, etc. All of this allows a student to see what the daily expectations are for certain jobs and continue to explore! Often, a one-time job shadow may turn into a longer internship or apprentice position - all valuable additions to a future application as well.

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