This is one of the most important questions you will have to answer for yourself. This is the area that will inform your decision of where you apply and what scholarship you can apply for.
Here are a few possible scenarios:
- You know what you want to study in college because you know what you want to be “when you grow up.” You want to be an engineer, a doctor, an accountant, a dancer, or a business person. That is great! Your job is done. You apply to colleges that have strong programs in these disciplines and take classes toward the relevant degree.
- You are not sure what to study and because you are unsure of the job or career you want for yourself. You like music but you are good in mathematics, and your parents want you to be an engineer.
- You know the job you want to have in the future but don’t know what to study to get it. For example, you want to be a diplomat or an international lawyer but you don’t know what to “major in” or where.
- You want to be a writer, a film-maker or an artist but you are afraid there won’t be jobs for that. (Or your parents think that.)
- You know what you want to study and you know you are going to be good at that. You even know where you want to apply. But you don’t have the financial means to do it.
These are very common situations that most American and international students experience. DO NOT WORRY. The American education system is designed to take care of that. But you need to do some of the work yourself. You need to ask yourself questions about what you really enjoy doing, what you do with ease, what you will need to start a career, and what inspires you.
Focusing on an area that you like and where you are strong is more important than focusing on an area of study which you think will get you the right job. You want to choose an area where you excel and where you can hone your skills. So choose an area which you are passionate about. Prove yourself there. This will get you the right job later on.
To become an entrepreneur or a successful businessman, you can decide to major in economics, or mathematics or health sciences or really anything. There are plenty of examples of people who have graduated as English or Anthropology majors only to become Vice Presidents of banks and CEOs of major companies.
How about majoring in the arts? If that is your passion or you want to try it – why not. There are plenty of wealthy celebrities, musicians and actors. Ask your parents what they read in the newspapers or social media first thing in the morning – international news, latest celebrity news, or the sports page. There is room and need for everyone.
Most importantly, all colleges and universities have counselors whose job is to help guide you in what to study, what classes to take and what the job prospects are for different majors.