I Don’t Know What Degree Major to Take on in College

I recently got an email from one of my loyal readers who told me “I don’t know what degree major to take on in college. I like the Criminal Justice field, but I don’t know if that’s what I want to pursue academically. Please Help.”

I chuckled a little bit and started going back in time to my ordeal of picking the “right” major. To be honest, I still don’t know if I took the right route, but I do know what I would have done if I had to do it all over again.Which way to go on your degree path?

Here’s my take on it

  • If you are on a brink of starting your college education then you might want to consider going to a community college first. This will help you establish a route to your major without the hassles of being forced to choose a specific degree program. This option is fairly cheap and takes about 2 years to complete. On top of that, majority of community colleges will grant you an associates degree, often it is an Associates Degree in General Studies.
  • If you would like to, you can do this at a college or university of your choosing, granted they have an option that provides an Associates Degree in General Studies. Some of the online schools I write about offer online Associate Degrees in General Studies in about a year and a half. In any event, make sure they have proper accreditation.
  • If you have chosen you degree path, but are not satisfied with it, I recommend cutting your losses and seriously reconsidering what is it that you want to do in life? I lost thousands of dollars because of not being sure of what I wanted to do. In the end, I am glad that I did so, rather than have to take on a career which will not satisfy my needs and wants.
  • On a path to a degree? View Map!If you are at the end of your bachelor level college education, I recommend finishing the degree. A common sense answer, but it is vital, especially during these hard economic times. The only advice I can give you is to pick the right graduate degree <– this will even things out for you.

I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me if you are not sure what to do, or maybe to just drop a line.

Have you had problems picking your major in college? How did you solve the dilemma?

Article written by Radek Gadek

Radek holds a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University. He is currently doing consulting work and runs this blog to provide relevant information on criminal justice degrees, colleges and related careers.

14 comments… add one
  • Ulises Saldivar

    I’m currently a senior in high school and i’ll be going into college this summer. I’m having a difficult time deciding what colleges to apply to. I’d like to pursue a career in criminal justice wanting to become a detective, do you think getting a degree in psychology would help?

    • Radek M. Gadek

      I know quite a few people with psychology degrees that have become police officers and then detectives. So yes, psychology should work just fine. Just remember to pursue something that despite a career choice will make you most happy. Good luck.

      • Ulises

        Do you know much about the CIA or federal agencies in law enforcement and what degree would best qualify me for them?

        • Radek M. Gadek

          From the CIA Website:

          Having an undergraduate degree is not mandatory, but is highly recommended. Life experiences are taken into consideration. However, a standard requirement for overseas officers, intelligence analysts, and other non-clerical positions is a college degree, preferably an advanced degree.

          AND you must be at least 18 to apply

          Check out the cia website at cia.gov for more info – they have a great FAQ section to answer common questions

  • shanice denum

    i need ur advice asap…im 31 with no direction, im still not sure what i want to get a college degree in and im embarrassed by that. throughout my twenties i went to several different schools,dropped out a few cuz my motivation died, ive managed to earn a few certifications that has abled me to make a living but it’s just not enough for me i want and need an degree.ive been considering registered nursing i thought about becoming an nurse anesthesiologist which is high on my list but then my family pressures me into thinking about cosmetology since i have a natural gift for it. then my best friend says that if i consider the paralegal field, she could help me get on with her working for the city of Chicago which would be nice money to. i just haven’t made up my mind, i did my research on every career and i even tried a occupational survey to see what career best fits me, but to no luck i had to pay for the results! ive watched a few of my friends graduate with their degrees and now im feeling like im getting left behind and old! my son is a freshman in high school now and i want to be able to afford sending him to college so im giving myself 3-6yrs to get my degree and get to work in a job that i would love to wake up and go to everyday, if only i knew exactly what excites me and interests me i could make a decision. i dont think doing hair will help much with my kids tuition(my son 14,daughter 12, & another daughter 4) especially just starting out.

  • Ulises Saldivar

    I’m now going to Texas State university.. my major is currently psychology and my minor is criminal justice. However i’ve been thinking about making criminal justice my major and psychology my minor. Which do you think would best assist me in attaining a job with federal and international law enforcement agencies?

    • Radek M. Gadek

      Both options can be equally desirable. It all depends on the hiring agency; and boils down to the present needs of the agency and even to personal preferences of the hiring personnel.

  • Kayla S.

    I am uncertain what i should take in college as well. Like you, i wasted about 6 thousand dollars because i didn’t know what i wanted to do. I wound up dropping out about 6 and a half months into it. Criminal Justice, Psychology, social work, human services, probation officer, and even working with kids who have been beaten or in trouble a lot, all interests me. Yes, i know, that’s a LOT of things that i am interested in.. Lol. But i am just confused on what degree would incorporate all of what i listed.. Do you know of a degree that would do so? If so PLEASE get back to me. I have done some research, i just cant find the right degree that best suites me. Anyone feel free to get back with me if you know.. Thanks!!
    Kayla S.

  • Lyndsay Gervais

    I’m supposed to be starting up my 3rd year of graphic design classes for my associates degree and I’m miserable. It was okay at first, but I absolutely hated going to class last year and I failed almost everything. I did take a Human Relations class in my spring semester and did well in it, I thought it was really interesting so I am starting to consider a degree in psychology. I have other interests too though. I love to draw and am very creative, and I also love being around kids and I love history and learning about it. I don’t know what I really want to do at this point. The school I’m currently enrolled in doesn’t offer many programs that I’m interested in, so I may consider transferring, but my parents won’t agree with it.

  • Ulises Saldivar

    Hey, i’m now a sophmore at Texas State University and i’m still a psychology major and CJ minor. Everything worked out great. Psychology is a very interesting field, i’ve enjoyed the courses that I’ve taken so far. Thanks for the advice.

    • Radek M. Gadek

      I am so glad to hear that. Thanks for the update and I wish you all the best in your studies.

  • Ulises Saldivar

    After being in touch with different agencies I’ve realized that an international relations major would make me more marketable for those jobs in law enforcement I want after college. To be make me an even better prospect what kind of minor would go best here? PSY? Foreign Language? Sociology?

    • Radek M. Gadek

      I think all of the have their strengths. You need to pick the one that “clicks” for you the best.

  • Ulises Saldivar

    In the next coming months I’ll let you know what I committed to. It looks like I may join the Air Force ROTC here at Texas State U. and enlist as an officer in hopes of one day getting security clearance and striking that job I want.

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