Fear of Choosing a College Major

Fear of Choosing a College Major

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Students are flooded with questions about their career interests from a young age. This pressure is especially pronounced among college-going students as different individuals are interested in their choice. Some of the most significant sources of pressure college students experience in choosing college majors include the need to please one’s parents, the need to improve one’s economic status, the need to choose a career that pays well and is fulfilling, high costs of college education and the difficulties of predicting the employment market. Though these factors increase the fear of choosing a college major, I believe that this fear should not force one to pursue a career of no interest to them. Moreover, choosing the wrong college major is not the end of the world.

Education is largely seen as the key to upward social mobility. As education is a source of multidirectional influence, people can use it to create better lives regardless of their social class. Through education, people explore latent potentials, enhance intellect, and increase their chances of getting better jobs and improving their economic status (Nazimuddin, 2015). Due to these widely known benefits, college-going students’ parents are often very invested in their children’s education. Moreover, access to college education is a step closer to attaining a well-paying job and improved economic status. Due to the high-interest parent have in the education of their college-going children, students often have a hard time choosing majors as they directly influence the type of career one gets into and subsequently one’s economic status in the future. Therefore, choosing a college major is a daunting task of pleasing one’s parents, pursuing one’s passions, and getting into a career that is fulfilling and well paying.

Choosing a college major is equal to choosing a career. Ideally, though one’s choice in picking a college major should be influenced by passion and interest, it is widely known that passion does not always pay. For instance, numerous data show that women are more likely to pursue service careers, while men are inclined towards technical jobs. Generally, technical careers pay more than service-oriented careers hence the wide pay gaps between men and women after college (Piazzalunga, 2018). This conflict in the major one should pursue even more evident in my life as my parents constantly suggest different college majors. For instance, my father has mostly encouraged me to pursue technical majors such as computer science while my mother is insistent that I choose a major in the service industry as it is more fulfilling. While I understand the motivations behind their recommendations, I am at a loss on how I can fulfill both their wishes while remaining true to my future goals and professional interests. One certain thing is that I want to pick a major that will guarantee that I get into a career that is both well-paying and fulfilling.

The high costs associated with a college education make choosing a major overwhelming. The cost of higher education has significantly increased over recent decades. This problem is especially complex as it is influenced by multiple factors such as politics, inflation rates, the economy, and government appropriations (Feldman, 2019). While one can easily change their college major, the fear that the wrong choice or constant changes will result in added semesters and tuition fees increases the pressure to choose the best college major. I feel greater pressure to pick a major that satisfies all parties involved on an individual level. This added pressure is based on knowing that my parents will be paying for my tuition fees. Furthermore, I do not want to pick a college major that I will later drop as it will result in higher tuition fees and further increase my parents’ financial burden.

Lastly, choosing a college major is challenging as it is difficult to predict the employment market. Advancements in technology have significantly affected marketplace trends. As a result, colleges and higher education institutions are forced to develop clusters of new programs, further adding the number of majors offered. The increase in the number of courses offered makes it even harder for students to select a particular major to choose from. Also, as technology increasingly advances, there is a strong possibility that the jobs I will be applying for in the future do not exist today. The major that I choose to pursue may not necessarily lead me to a job as new careers will develop as technology influences professional trends.


Choosing the wrong major is not the end of the world. College is a period of choices as one constantly understands themselves and grows into their person. Though there is great pressure and fear associated with choosing college majors, I believe that this fear should not force one into pursuing something that is not of interest to them. Furthermore, many people have changed their careers regardless of their age; therefore, choosing and changing a college major is part of normal life.


Feldman, D. H., & Romano, R. M. (2019). Drivers of community college costs and prices. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 51(3), 21-27.

Nazimuddin, S. K. (2015). Social mobility and role of education in promoting social mobility. Int J Sci Eng Res, 3, 176-179.

Piazzalunga, D. (2018). The gender wage gap among college graduates in Italy. Italian Economic Journal, 4(1), 33-90.