One of the considerations that’s always recommended when compiling a target list for recruiting is knowing what you want to major in. For instance, if you ultimately want to be an engineer, trying to get recruited at a liberal arts college without an engineering program might be a waste of time. On the plus side, knowing your desired major and researching what a school offers in that area of study will also show a coach that you’ve done your homework and have a plan in mind. 

That all works well in theory, but the reality is, most coaches say only about 20% of high school recruits truly know what they want to major in. And of that 20%, an even greater percentage will change their major at some point during their college career. Given that, not being sure of what you want to major in isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker in recruiting. But, since it ultimately will determine your path in life after college, there are a few major things to consider.

If You’re Not Sure, It’s OK

While most colleges will want you to declare a major when you enroll, they also realize that situations and attitudes can change. That’s why many schools start incoming freshmen in a general course of study to knock out some core requirements before allowing them into a specific program. College should be a time of discovery. If you’re not sure what you want to do with your life, it’s OK to discover it once you get some college credit hours under your belt. 

Should You Choose A School Based On Major?

As a student-athlete, the only time it makes sense to choose a school based strictly on major is if you are absolutely sure of your chosen area of study and that you’re 100% certain it won’t change. If you “think” you might want to be an engineer or a nurse, but aren’t completely sure, then don’t choose a school based specifically on those education pathways. Just as it’s recommended that you consider if you’d want to attend a given school if you weren’t competing in athletics, you should also ask yourself if you’d still want to be at a school if you weren’t going to pursue a specific major. 

Are You Thinking About Post-Graduate Studies?

If you’re considering a field that requires a masters or doctorate degree and admittance into a post-graduate program, remember that being a student-athlete in college can set you apart from other students. Graduate programs are often far more selective and competitive than undergraduate entrance standards, and all the applicants will have excellent grades and entrance exam scores. To differentiate the applicants, postgraduate boards will look at a student’s extra-curricular activities to gauge what an student did with their free time. An applicant who also played sports in college will always have an edge due to his or her proven ability to master time management, teamwork, coachability, and struggling through adversity. 

In addition, regardless of where you may compete and get your undergraduate degree, you’re free to apply to postgraduate programs at any other school. That means, if you have your sights set on becoming a doctor for example, you may have multiple pre-med major options from many undergraduate colleges. Remember that when considering how a college fits you. 

If you’ve known you want to be a doctor, veterinarian, engineer, or teacher since you were a little kid, great.That means you can get an early start on finding the schools that fit you best, athletically and academically. And if you’re not sure of what you want to major in, that’s OK too. Many college freshmen and sophomores list their major as “Undecided.” Choosing what you want to do with your life after college is a major decision. If you’re not sure about it in high school, finding a college where you’re comfortable competing that gives you the room and time to decide your major should be a major factor in your recruiting decision. 

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