Is it Financially Worth Changing Majors?

Some of us will figure out what we want to do for the rest of our lives in high school. We will take the perfect courses in our senior year and then go on to college for that topic. We will graduate from college and work in the field until we retire. We will have a successful career, make great money, and be happy with those decisions that we made in our early years.

Congratulations to you if you fall under that category. Many of us don’t know what we want to do. Some of us (myself included) will graduate from college without knowing what we want to do with the rest of our lives. Many people in their 30s still have no clue of what they want to do next.

Today I wanted to deviate from the conversation about starting a business in college. I wanted to talk about your major in college and if it’s worth switching it.

After speaking to many friends that did this and those that avoided it, I wanted to discuss changing majors in college. Is it financially worth switching programs?

If your new course selection is 100%.

Are you totally positive that your new major will hold your interest? The harsh reality is that you need to understand why you even want to switch in the first place. Did you flunk out? If you didn’t put in the work, then it doesn’t matter what you switch to.

If your attitude is positive and your totally sure of what to do next, then go for it. One of my good friends wanted to be a Firefighter is whole life. His parents forced him to get a degree. The whole four years that he studied Social Work he knew that he wanted to be fighting fires. He stuck out the four years and then ten years (one whole decade) later ended up applying for his dream job of Firefighter. He could have switched. For some reason he just wasn’t 100%.

If you’re not near the end of your college term.

I’ve been told that it’s financially and emotionally draining to switch majors near the end of your run. I can totally see this because you’ve invested so much time and money into your education and now you have to start from scratch.

I have a friend that switched majors near the end of his term. He told me that it’s frustrating because he’s 25 years old sitting in a first year course with a bunch of teenagers. Are you willing to start all over again?

If you have the money.

I’ve been told that switching majors and starting over again can really make an impact on your finances. This especially holds true when you’re financing your whole education with student loans. Starting over again means that you have to start paying the same expenses all over again. Is this worth it? I don’t think so.

You’re now going to have to apply for more student loans and get into more debt. That means that your retirement planning is going to take a hit.

On the other hand, if you have the funding (family or scholarships), and switching majors won’t destroy your finances, then switching majors could be the best decision that you make.

Are you going to switch majors in college?

The decision is ultimately all yours. I hope that I gave you enough to think about and that you make the best possible decision for your unique situation because I can only suggest what could work for you. The rest is up to you.

Edwin C

Edwin is a marketer, social media influencer and head writer here at Money In The 20's. He manages a large network of high quality finance blogs and social media accounts. You can connect with him via email here.

4 thoughts on “Is it Financially Worth Changing Majors?

  • February 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I’ve changed majors a few times. So long as the switch isn’t dramatic (like piano performance to computer science) you can usually still graduate without extra time or costs. I think the big question is how to transition and how it will impact graduation.

  • February 27, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    I actually decided not to switch majors. Instead, I finished one and then ultimately decided to go back and get a completely unrelated degree a few years later. I wish I would have simply switched to begin with. It would have saved me a ton of money and effort!

  • February 28, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I think it’s usually financial worth it to change majors – unless you’re in like your last semester and the major you want to switch for would require another 4 years. But overall, I think it’s pretty important to find something you love during college and if that means switching majors 10 times, then that’s what you have to do (hopefully, it doesn’t take that).

  • March 3, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    I think if you don’t switch – you’d regret it forever. It’s a shame that switching may cost you a few years, and thousands of dollars – but a lifetime of “what if’s” would kill me! I was lucky in that I never had the desire to switch majors – but I do have friend who’s 29 and has 2 years still to go… because she’s switched 4 different times!


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