Choosing a major is perhaps one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life. And it can have tremendous repercussions. If you choose a major based on your passion, you may never use your degree — about 45% of college grads get stuck working unskilled jobs. But if you pursue a major based solely on how much it pays, you may end up in a lucrative career you hate with no escape strategy. So what should you do?
The Passionate Choice
According to the Harvard Business Review, the work you do has a profound effect on your happiness. People who are unemployed say they are miserable, while people who love what they do report the highest levels of happiness. This shows just how important it is to pursue a job you love. People who are passionate about their work also tend to stick with it longer, work harder and are more successful than those who hate what they do.
The Lucrative Choice
Let’s face it, you have to earn a certain amount of money to survive. You have to earn even more if you want to thrive. All the passion in the world can’t change that. The happiest people earn about $75,000 per year, as reported by Time. As income goes down, so does happiness. Why? People need enough money to live a comfortable life, free of financial stress, to follow their passions.
The Fool-Proof Choice
Choosing a major is hard. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose between something you love and something that pays well. You can have the best of both worlds. Choose a major in a field that you’re passionate about, but tailor your career path to include positions that pay well.
Research is the key to choosing the right major. Learn everything you can about the pay and opportunities available in each career path you’re considering before selecting your major. So choose a lucrative career that you’re passionate about. That’s a win-win no matter how you look at it.
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