Why Students Chose Their College Majors

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Many choose the medical field for many different reasons.

Many choose the medical field for many different reasons.

Right now, many college freshmen are probably worrying about their first finals. However, a bigger test looms for some of them: declaring a major. You don’t have to be a freshman (or even in college) to wonder what you want to do with your life. SALT pulled together our community to share why they picked the specialties they did. Here’s what their conversation sounded like.


I chose nursing because I love to help people. I have worked in a hospital setting for the past 10 years and have one semester left before I complete my program. If I pass this semester that is…


Some minor reasons I chose nursing were the high demand and competitive pay. We as students can only hope to retire clear of debt!


I choose my major specialty as chemistry (pharmacy) to get high-salary jobs. My uncle was a pharmacist, and he was making $40/hr. That inspired me to be pharmacist.


When I was younger, I would say [I wanted to be] a professional basketball player or a basketball coach. When I was done with my homework, I would always draw something about basketball on the back of my homework, whether it was a picture or basketball plays. Therefore, I chose sports studies with a sport management emphasis as my major.


I originally didn’t plan on going to college—after all, it’s not for everybody, and I didn’t do so well in high school. My dad said that he thought I would enjoy [school], and he encouraged to try a semester and see how I felt about it. When I looked through the course catalogs at schools I was considering, I realized that elementary education was the only thing I could see myself doing and enjoying. So really, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.


In high school, I was still unsure what I wanted to major in. I didn’t know (and still don’t know) what I wanted to be—many careers sounded interesting. Ultimately, I want to make good money and help people! I’m happy I chose [engineering], but it’s hard sometimes since I don’t know if I want to be an engineer and the classes are very challenging. I hope that it will all work out in the end, and I will figure out what career is right for me!


The first book I was able to read on my own was about dinosaurs, so I wanted to be a paleontologist. That gave way to a dream of being an astronaut after I fell in love with space. By high school, I decided physics was for me, though that quickly changed to engineering once I realized that I preferred to actually build things rather than just play with theory.


When I was asked what I wanted to do when I grew up, my answer was pretty simple: I don’t want to work for someone else my whole life! I wanted to own and run my own business so naturally I went into business management.


I’ve always loved music, and I knew I wanted to do something with it when I grew up. I wanted to be in music, but not solely in performance. I originally went into music merchandising, but now I’m in music production and i love it!


As a child, I went to physical therapy with my grandma and the physical therapist helped me with my math worksheets so I thought they were pretty cool. In high school, I got carpal tunnel syndrome and had to go to an occupational therapist and physical therapist, so I had a renewed interest in that field. I have changed my post-graduation career plans a few times, but I am still an exercise science major and I love it.

Readers, why did you choose your major? Share your stories in the comments. 

(Photo: plong)

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