Thinker's Chronicle

Tips for Choosing a University Major

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Should I study law or computer science? Medicine or engineering? 

One of the toughest decisions senior high school students and  high school graduates face is choosing which major they should pursue. It requires much consideration and evaluation from a personal level. I also went through this dilemma. These tips really helped me clear my mind and settle on a major I was passionate about and comfortable with the idea of pursuing in the long run.

Let’s dive right into the 3 main  tips that will guide  you to finding  the right path that will work best for you:

Discover your Ikigai.

Ikigai is a Japanese concept which means your reason for being,  simply put your life’s purpose.To figure your ikigai, grab a piece of paper and divide the paper into the following sections and answer the following guiding questions: 

  • What do I love doing?
  • What am I good at?
  • What does the world need?
  • What can you be paid for?

After doing this reflection, the activities that fit in each of these sections, will give you ideas on what path will work best for you.

Research, research research!

The beauty of the internet is that it holds so much information on various topics.Once, you realise you have a few career options in mind, take some time to research about those fields in depth.You can use the following questions to guide you through your research:

  • What does a typical day in the life of [your field of interest] look like?
  • What skills and abilities do [your field of interest] require?
  • What educational experience is required to pursue [your field of interest]?
  • What does the university coursework for your major look like?
  • How will the job market for [your field of interest] look like 10 years down the line?

These questions will open your eyes to the pros and cons of  taking a certain career path thus enabling you to evaluate whether that path is the most suitable for you.


Though this is a tough choice, it doesn’t mean you should carry this load on your own. Do reach out to those around you who can advise you.Talk your career/guidance counsellors for they will help you understand the long term view of your decisions.Talk to your peers, they’re also going through the same issue so they’ll give suggestions on how to tackle the issue.Talk to your parents as well for they have known you for the longest period they’ll have the best interests for you.If you can reach out to a professional working in your field of interest, why not reach out to them so have better understanding of the field as they share their experience with you.

At the end of this day, please take time to figure out the right path, don’t rush the decision.You’ll end up on the right path. Everything will fall into place. All the best!

By: Natasha Waithera Wainaina