How to Help Your Teen with Choosing a College Major

After your teen completes high school, they find themselves on the verge of making one of the biggest and perhaps most difficult decisions of their life, choosing a college major. The impact of this choice can be life-long as their college education is likely to serve as the foundation on which they may be building their entire professional career.

As a parent, you’ve probably always been there to guide your teen through thick and thin, and at this point, they are going to require your wisdom once again. In order to help you guide them in the right direction, we’re sharing a few tips. You may not need them or may already know everything that we’re about to tell you, but since you are going to be helping your teen with a life-defining decision, we just thought it best to not take any chances.

Start by Discussing the Purpose of Attending College

Before you even start discussing majors with your teen, you need to make them ponder over what they expect of their life. Ask them where they see themselves heading in the years to come and how a college fits into the equation. Talk to them about the different career options and their prerequisites to help them envision a goal and the path to it. They can either look around for inspirations, or they can simply shut out all external voices and only lend an ear to what their passion is whispering to them. Be sure to discuss the pros and cons of different career paths that they come up with to help them make a more informed decision.

Consider the Marketability of Different Options

Once you and your teen have agreed on a destination, it’s time to see what college major is an ideal fit. Again, you have to take into account the benefits and pitfalls of different options available. Don’t let your teen play it safe by going for the easiest option. Instead, encourage them to make a bold decision, one that perfectly aligns with their goal and the expected future trend. Remember, your teen is making a decision that is going to impact their future, not their present. Therefore, make sure they’ve got their eyes set a few years ahead of time.

Bring in External Help for Extra Insight

Your teen can use all the help and guidance they can get to finalize a college major. Rather than bearing the burden of helping them make the right choice alone, you can bring in additional people to give their 2 cents based on their own experience. The best people for this job would certainly be those who’re still in college as they can share how exactly they reached a decision. You can also set up an appointment with a career counselor and take your teen to see them for some professional help. The more insights your teen gets, the clearer they’ll become about what they really should opt for.

Guide, Not Steer

Refrain from becoming a domineering force during the process of helping your teen pick a college major. Always let them make the final decision since they’re the one who are going to be living with it for the rest of their life. Your focus should solely be on discussing the pros and cons of all options, as well as encouraging them to make a decision that they acknowledge as the correct one but are somewhat reluctant to make. You don’t just want them to make the right decision, you want them to make a decision and take responsibility for it. They’re more likely to do that if they’re the one with the last say.

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