Question: I’m a college junior majoring in accounting. When I got to college I didn’t know what I wanted to major in so I picked accounting because my dad is an accountant. My grades are decent, but the more classes I take and accountants I talk to the more I realize I don’t want to be an accountant! I am pretty sure I want to pursue a career in higher education, maybe admissions or student life. I’ve been involved in res life almost my whole time in college and I really love it. What should I do? Should I change majors? Is it too late for that? ~ Tyrel H., Anaheim, CA
Answer: Realizing that you want to change career paths can happen at any time; in fact, it can happen several times throughout your life. Taking time to speak with professionals in a prospective career field, as you have done, can really help you make decisions about the career’s fit with your interests, skills, goals, and needs (financial, personal, spiritual, etc.). Interning or otherwise gaining practical experience in the career is another excellent way to determine if the career is a suitable fit.
When planning to switch majors, there is typically some amount of time and extra money that will be needed to make up pre-requisite courses and take the required courses for the new major. While this may set you back financially and in terms of when you graduate, in the long run, you will have saved yourself the potential emotional and financial stress of working in an occupation that is the wrong fit. Changing majors is an important decision, so speaking with academic advisors, career counselors, your parents, faculty/students in the new major, and professionals in the new career path is also important.