Why Do People Change College Majors?

Why Do People Change College Majors?

March 23, 2021

We live in a time where people are chasing their passions. If there is one thing that the pandemic has taught most of us, it’s that there is no time to waste and no promises can be made. For those students or individuals who want more from life, they are choosing to take the paths that may not make them millionaires––and that’s okay! After all, what good is it to make good money and you’re not happy? 

Maybe that’s why so many people only get into their first or second year of college before deciding they’d rather pursue a different field of study. At least a third of bachelor’s degree students will change their major at some point in their undergrad studies—so if you ever feel like you picked the wrong major, you’re in good company.

Stick with us for a while as we dive deeper into why individuals choose to change majors or schools.

Personal Fulfillment vs. Breadwinning 

While there are many university-level students who choose a specific major for the sake of pursuing their passions, others are focused on pursuing a major that yields higher income. Within this split, there is a deeper dichotomy that would suggest that the traditional college student wouldn’t be able to determine his or her passion because of age. On the other side of the spectrum, non-traditional college students, who may identify as older adults, tend to think more about the long-term implications of their decision-making.  

Of these two groups of students, roughly 14% of younger students between the ages of 24 and 39 paid more attention to their passions than the remaining 86%. Similarly, adults who pursued their passions account for more than 30%, which leads us to infer that the remaining 70% are focused more on long-term considerations like salary or job security. The more conservative groups would focus on breadwinning––the act of accumulating income to relieve economic stress. Who hasn’t cracked a joke about the high-paying jobs someone with a philosophy degree is sure to attract?

So, let’s be real for a second. It appears that both younger and older college students have more of a priority or obligation to be concerned about wages, benefits, and in-demand skills. The reason for this, however, may be because they don’t feel like there is enough support to reassure them that they can, in-fact, pursue their passions and make a living doing so. When we couple this with the fact that the costs of living have drastically increased over time, we cannot blame students for their concerns. 

What is the solution?

We live in a state of education where adaptive learning has become the trend. Adaptive learning is the method by which computers create functions that dictate the resources and learning tools needed to effectively pass a course. In this process, each user has a tailored learning experience. The upside to the concept of adaptive learning is that the adequate technology can help acclimate higher education institutions and equip them for the future of tech. 

While students are always looking for more support from their large colleges and universities, smaller liberal arts colleges should pursue this new wave of students to meet them where they are, instead of where they cannot go. Adaptive learning does this for our students. 

More than computer algorithms and new-age educational approaches, it seems to us that the best way to empower students to make confident choices about their area of study is to broaden the options available. College can be an expensive place to experiment with different career paths, and it’s not always easy to switch mid-major and graduate on time. 

It’s never too late to re-code your future.

Eleven Fifty Academy is committed to bridging the tech gap in Indiana by providing an adaptive learning experience that recognizes the needs of each student according to his or her skill and preferences. Additionally, we believe that our immersive tech bootcamps hold huge promise for college students, graduates who are unhappy with their degrees, and anybody stuck in a career they don’t like. In a matter of months and at a fraction of the cost of switching to a new college major, our students skill up and gain the skills they need to land a new job in coding, cybersecurity, or UX/UI design and bring their passions and professional pursuits together.

If you’re interested in changing the course of your career, or if you want to learn additional skills to boost your career, check out our free introductory courses to determine whether an education in coding, cybersecurity, or UX/UI design can create a sustainable future for you.

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