5 Common Mistakes in Choosing a Health Care Major

Choosing and declaring your health care major is a big decision. While we can’t give you sure-fire tips on choosing the perfect path, we can offer some guidance on what not to do when choosing a health care major.


Even if it feels like all of your friends already know “what they want to be when they grow up,” don’t rush it! You have time to make a decision that you’ll feel good about for years to come, so take it. Spend some extra time shadowing professionals working in the field to make sure that the position that sounds so great on paper is actually a great fit in real life. Talk to those who have inspired you to enter this exciting career field to see what they suggest when it comes to choosing the career path that’s right for you.

Limiting your options

You can probably name a dozen majors off the top of your head and your college may offer a hundred more! Spend some time on your college’s website or talk to an academic advisor. Make a list of all the subjects that appeal to you. Even if you don’t major in one of them, you might decide to minor in the subject or take some classes as electives.

Not looking ahead

You may have to take extra courses to qualify for a particular program, pay lab fees or complete an internship. You may even have to stay in school a little longer than you planned. Make sure you understand all the costs of a potential major—both in terms of time and tuition.

Seeking too many opinions

Seek advice from friends, family and academic counselors, but decide for yourself what you want to study. This is your life. Even if your parents are paying for school, they should respect your right to make this decision yourself—particularly if you’ve researched your options carefully and can clearly explain the reasons behind your choice.

Treating it as life-or-death

Between 65% and 75% of students change their major at least once during their college career. This makes sense when you consider that college is a time of discovery.

At the same time, college is expensive. Changing your major can mean taking additional courses and even staying in school longer than you planned. So it makes sense to make this major decision carefully. Take the time to think about what you want, and plot a course that will get you closer to that goal. If you are considering changing your major, check out this list of three pitfalls when considering switching majors from USA Today College.


This article has given me an idea to pursue for the online class I teach, Intro to Health Professions. I will try to contact the HR dept. at our local hospital to see if they are willing to partner with me in setting up a shadowing experience for my students.

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