Why Taking Classes Outside of Your Major is a Good Idea

Deciding to commit to higher education is a big decision. It’s a step of progress, one which will influence the direction of your life. With this commitment comes decisions that pertain to how you pursue your education. You might have an idea of what you’d like to do after college, but one way to rock the boat is by taking courses outside of your major.

Sometimes you’ll find that you didn’t just rock the boat, but you’ve completely changed its course.

Major Decisions

Choosing a college major is an exciting way to kick-off higher education. You have a world of possibility in front of you.  

Studies show that half of college students switch their major. This goes to show you that you’re not alone in your hunt for a career path. It’s simply a human trait; it’s hard to make big decisions. Enrolling in a few classes that are not within your intended scope is a good thing. It makes you well-rounded in the very least, and at the most, it might be the “a-ha” moment you’ve been waiting for.

When it comes to deciding on a major there are a few different types of people.

Laser-Focused type: You’ve known from childhood what you want to do. When it comes time to pursue higher education, you’ve planned your course and will follow it.

Open-Minded type: You have an area of interest and explore related topics inside a certain scope.

Determined type: You don’t know what you’d like to do. You want to pursue an education because it opens doors to more career paths.

Depending on which type you are, taking non-major classes can affect you on different levels. If you’re more of the determined type, you might switch your major up to three times. The importance of selecting a few classes outside of your major is a key part in discovering areas of interest.

The standard route that determined students take is starting off in a business-related major. It’s a conservative way to approach selecting a major. However, you might find that you don’t like taking accounting classes or business ethics courses. If this is the case, it would be nice to have a fallback.

So, while you’re choosing business-related courses, try throwing an Intro to Graphic Design course in the mix. Perhaps you might find a new love, and all of a  sudden your next semester is set in the direction you want to go.

For the open-minded type of students, choosing a non-related major is important as well. Yes, you might have a good indication of what you would like to do, but why limit yourself? At the very least, expanding your horizons is not a bad thing. You might find that you enjoy accounting, but you may love marketing. It’s as simple as filling an elective spot.

You might not have altered your career path much, but sometimes the slightest tweak makes a difference. You might find that instead of pursuing marketing, you like advertising. It all stems from broadening your horizons.

If you’re the laser-focused type of student, that’s a big plus. It’s a reassuring thing to have a course already planned out. Even for those who have set plans, taking non-major related classes can do some good.

Taking courses out of your wheelhouse can be a good way to break the mold. If you find yourself getting into a rut, taking a non-major course is a good way to pull yourself out. Also, you never know if one non-major class could turn into two; then before you know it, you have a different major.

At the very least, taking a variety of courses is a good way to create a well-rounded education.

Non-Major Decisions

With the idea of exploring new courses in mind, the question remains of how to choose them. A good way to explore new areas is by taking the Stampede classes. Minimester classes are shorter than average term classes. You can find a variety of courses offered to choose from. Additionally, there are resources available to help educate you on which courses to take.

One thing to consider is developing a minor. A minor is not an official degree, but it indicates that you have sufficient knowledge of a subject. It’s meant to complement your degree and give you a full education.

A way to pick a non-major related course is to take your interests into consideration. If you’re a psychology major but have an interest in theology, take a theology class. You can also take an aptitude test to help you navigate your skill sets if you’re not sure.

Finding Success

Overall, pursuing higher education is a great way to open doors that would otherwise be shut. Choosing a major is important and it’s something you’ll want to put thought into. However, if you’re slow to find your way, don’t worry.

An article in Forbes highlights that those who take a variety of non-major related courses, in general, make over six-figure incomes. So, the next time you’re fretting about which direction to take, it might not be a bad thing.

The most important thing about embarking on the journey of a college education is finishing. Make sure to utilize the resources provided. There are plenty of services available to students to inform and educate. Another good way to discover new interests is to attend career days. At these functions, you’re able to meet with employers and ask questions. It’s a great way to get a feel for what you might enjoy doing.

For some students, higher education might be a straight line, but for others it might seem more like a maze. Whichever path you take, the most important part is finishing.

If you have questions, make sure to reach out; Arkansas Baptist College is ready to help you navigate and guide you down the right path.

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