Book Review: Guide To College Majors


When I was in college, there were students who knew what they wanted to do with their lives and were ready to matriculate the first chance that they were permitted to do so. Then there were other students, myself included, who felt pressured to pick a major and did. But we also changed it one, two or three times before settling on something we felt comfortable with.

college studentIn some ways I played it safe: I chose Business Administration as my major which just so happens to be the most popular major according to a 2008-2009 survey of college administrators. This fact came to me by way of The Princeton Review who recently sent me a review copy of their Guide to College Majors: 2010 Edition reference book.

Why is this book important? Because it can help students focus in on what major is of interest to them. Beyond specific majors, the guide notes how choices of majors can impact financial aid, scholarship and tuition; lists some very interesting unusual and cutting edge majors; the top 15 majors for 2010; and a fun fact section revealing the college majors of a number of well known personalities.

Parents may want to get this guide book for their college bound students because there is another factor which can make a huge difference in choosing the right major besides their eventual earning potential and that has to do with college costs. You see, when students switch majors they often lose credits that cannot be applied as electives. These changes can add significantly to your college costs and even delay graduation.

There are hundreds of majors for students to choose with perhaps thousands of minors or areas of concentration. The Princeton Review guide gives each major a two-page profile outlining the major’s description; applicable courses; high school prep tips; an interests planner; career options and salary potential; an availability meter icon showing the percentage of schools offering the major; and fun facts related to that particular major.

Now back to The Princeton Review’s 2009 survey of college administrators.

That survey, involving 1400 colleges who reported their three most popular college majors by enrollment, is pretty telling as far as what kind of jobs students expect to land after they graduate. Personally, not much surprised me although #7, Political Science & Government, placing so high did. Anyway, here are the top 15 most popular college majors for 2010:

  1. Business Administration
  2. Education
  3. Psychology
  4. Nursing
  5. Biology
  6. English Language & Literature
  7. Political Science & Government
  8. Criminal Justice
  9. Engineering
  10. Economics
  11. Marketing
  12. Liberal Arts & Sciences/Liberal Studies
  13. Accounting
  14. Communications
  15. Finance

Source: The Princeton Reviews’ Guide to College Majors: 2010 Edition (Random House/Princeton Review Books, $21, Feb. 2010)

Adv. – Are you getting ready for college? If so, allow to help. This site has free resource tools including a college planning list, student aid tracking and other tools to aid you in your college preparation effort.


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Categories: Book Reviews