Admissions 101: Smart and lazy ways to pick a college major


Arizona State University sophomore architecture major Scott Johnson (James Carreno/Associated Press)

It worked out for me, but Laurence Shatkin's book "Panicked Student's Guide to Choosing a College Major" suggests a more far-sighted process. Be careful, he says, not to pick a major that is going to lead you to a career that is too competitive for your taste, or doesn't suit your personality type, or doesn't match your skills. He says a good guide to a major is to think of the courses you did best in in high school.

So why did you pick a major? And would your method work for today's students? Is it advisable to go for the major that is most comfortable, even if it may leave you more free time than is good for you?

Jay Mathews is an education columnist and blogger for the Washington Post, his employer for 40 years.

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