The staggering number of college students who change their majors indicates that many people have no idea what they want to do. In fact, even the students who stick with a major usually end up changing careers a couple of times during their lives. But what if you have no direction and no idea where to start? Should you even consider going to college or join the blue-collar workforce? While this decision is strictly yours, there are three distinct paths you can choose to take you to a major when you’re just not sure what to do.
Get to Know Yourself
The first thing you should do is take some career and aptitude tests to determine what you like and what you’re good at. You’ll find plenty of good tests to take online. Also, most high school and college counselors have access to thorough and professional ones.
These exams are designed to give you insight into your own thinking by using a series of questions that point you in a particular direction. For example, the test might ask you what you enjoyed doing when you were a child, or what your parents always said you were good at. These tests will usually give you several ideas of careers that fit your personality and skills, but you still have to choose one that resonates with you.
Attend College Online
Aside from aptitude and career tests, it’s also a good idea to find out what your learning style is. For example, would you do better in a classroom or is a virtual environment more suited to you? To determine this, you can take an online learning self-assessment. This will tell you basically how prepared you are for virtual learning. It will help you determine whether or not you have the proper techniques and skills to handle it. But even if you aren’t quite there, you can usually use this as a jumping-off point when deciding what to learn first. You might find that brushing up on a few skills will help you be better prepared for an online class and for choosing a major.
An online education may be the best choice for anyone having difficulty picking a major for a couple of reasons. First of all, you can continue to work and look for things that interest you out in the “real world.” Secondly, you can take a minimal course load until you figure out what you want to do. This will allow you to continue to live your life while starting out slowly with your education.
Choose a Shorter Path
If you still don’t have a clearly defined destination, it’s sometimes best to take a shorter path rather than wasting time and money on something you’re not sure of. You’ll still have to choose a career, but it may be less disappointing if it turns out to be something you don’t enjoy.
Many people attend shorter programs to join the workforce sooner and find out that they love the path they took. Of course, you’ll still have to choose this program based on some sort of interest or skill, but sometimes a one- or two-year degree plan is much less daunting and easier to pick. For example, automotive, diesel and collision repair academic programs can often be completed in a year or less, and graduates can begin making money quickly. Or you can choose something like cosmetology, where you can work on your own schedule. This might allow you to make money in a rewarding profession while still attending college to do something else if you’d like.