Choosing Your Major Field of Study: Online or Offline

By Dr. Steven C. Scheer, Ph.D.

Thinking of going to college? Worried about being accepted by the university of your choice? Perhaps you should give some thought to why you are going to go to a university, community college or online institution in the first place. You are likely to begin a course of studies that will lead to a career. Therefore, do think about the practical application of that major in a career choice.  As a nursing or pre-med major, you’re likely to continue into medicine, pre-law into law, etc.

However, there are strong advocates for a broad-based Liberal Arts education, such as UC Berkeley, Skidmore College, and Oberlin College.  These are traditional brick and mortar schools, however, there are online degrees in Liberal Studies available from online colleges, such as Empire College, which is the online college of the State University of New York system, billing itself as the “SUNY College for Adults.”

Some Things to Think About

During the last few years of high school, did any subject matter interest you more than any other? Was it English? History? Psychology? Sociology? Science? Mathematics? A lot should weigh in with what your passion for a subject matter may be.

You may, on the other hand, be one of those students who is undecided. That’s OK.  You may feel that it is too soon to decide on a lifelong career. After all, you are just 18. Plenty of time for the hard decisions in your life.

The fact is, though, that what some people want to do for the rest of their lives does show up fairly early during their education. It is, after all, in your courses in high school, especially during the last four years, that you get your basic introduction concerning the different fields of study available for pursuit in your undergraduate years. And perhaps thinking about graduate school may seem premature this early in the game, but it really may not be a bad idea to start thinking about those fields that require graduate degrees in order to enter them. Such as medicine or law. Or even teaching in a college or university.

Further Reading at This Early Stage

It is never too soon to see what some teachers might advise you to think about. The following site is a good example of such advice from one of my fellow professors who tells you important things to think about when exploring the choice of a major:

You should by no means limit yourself to what I or anyone else may have to say on the subject. Think of this article, for example, as a point of departure for a journey that may not end until you will have finished undergraduate school or perhaps even your graduate studies.

Are You Thinking About Studying Online?

More and more these days a lot of students are thinking about studying online. There are advantages in going to a bricks and mortar school, but there are also advantages that go with studying online. The latter allows you to keep your own hours. And there are still plenty of opportunities for listening to lectures by actual professors who record and make them available to you for downloading. And don’t overlook the possibility of communicating with your fellow students online as well. The technology is now available for these and other things. And advances are being made left and right.– they are also a lead-generation site, thus competitors…

Are There Myths About Choosing A Major?

Are there certain things that can easily be regarded as myths when it comes to choosing a line of study? Nothing is written in stone. This means that even if you enter college with a definite idea for your future, that idea does not have to lock you into a permanent no-exit situation. You can see the various myths that have risen about choosing a major in the following site. I think you will enjoy what this list is and what each item in it has to say:

Once you have gone through these preliminaries, you may be in a better position than most to embark on what may be some of the best years of your life. Those of us who have been where you are now can testify to that. And even if you are an adult, beyond the traditional college age, you can still look forward to getting a higher education with a certain amount of anticipation and joy. It is never too late to learn new things. Learning is a lifelong process. It keeps us alive and well in our heads, hearts and souls.

Once More: Are You Thinking About Going to College Online Exclusively?

These days a lot of people are opting for going to college by not leaving their homes. There is a lot of information online about choosing an online program. Technology now brings the college experience to us, rather than the other way around.  Many adult learners are taking advantage of online learning to change their lives for the better.

Whatever your college path, be sure to take your time, explore your options, and follow your heart.  Good luck!

A Non-Traditional Student: My Experience as an Online College Student

Dr. Steven Scheer is a retired professor of English with 30 years of teaching experience behind him. He earned his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University in 1974. He is a published author with four books and many essays and articles to his name.  He is a contributor to

Featured Schools