Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Students make major changes in career plans


From aerospace engineering to telecommunications, there is a wide variety of majors for students to choose from. The University of Alabama offers 72 undergraduate degree programs made up of 12 colleges and allows for students to combine multiple majors or add minors to existing majors.

Graham Simmons, a sophomore majoring in public relations, enrolled in college with a major in mind but ultimately decided to pursue a different career. Simmons came to college with aspirations of having a general business degree, but during her Bama Bound orientation changed to public relations.

“I want to work in the music industry eventually, and while I can do that with either of the two majors, I realized I wanted to work more with branding and publicity than the logistics of the labels and recording agencies,” said Simmons.

Simmons is just one example of how career paths and changing ideas can affect the major choice of a UA student. While there may be multiple paths leading to a position in a certain career, students may decide one way is more appropriate or more geared toward their interests and specific career goals.

UA students change their majors often to adjust for new interests and evolved career goals, whether it be towards the beginning of their college career, or intermittently throughout. However, the decision to change your major is a decision that can have a continued effect on your future.

Austin Brown, a senior who is now majoring in finance, has tried multiple different majors. Starting with biology on the pre-med track, Brown has worked his way through mechanical engineering, computer science and music until finally settling on finance for his undergraduate degree.

“It is bittersweet thinking about it because changing majors can put you behind, but honestly, I wouldn’t have chosen to go through college any other way,” said Brown. “I can graduate and not think ‘What if?’ in the back of my mind.”

Brown expressed how rich his experience has been throughout his college career, due to the multitude of classes he has taken in different subjects. Studying in fields of science, music and finance, Brown has been exposed to a plethora of educational mindsets and has encountered a vast array of information in his time.

The decision to change fields of study is truly a major decision in all senses of the phrase. Changing majors can set students behind in their new majors, and the previous classes they took remain on their transcripts.

“I got to experience everything that interested me, and I picked what I liked doing the most,” said Brown. “I don’t think the classes that I ended up not needing were pointless, because I found that a lot of these skills intersect at some point.”

Other students have been in the same major since day one but have considered a switch to another major in order to adjust their career goals. 

Keaton Peacock, a junior majoring in chemical engineering, has been in mechanical engineering from the beginning, but has seen the opportunity of changing majors or adding a major as a potential change.

“For a time, I had considered adding pre-med classes to my regular workload,” said Peacock. “Eventually I just decided that adding too much would probably be too much to keep track of. I went to pre-med meetings when I had the interest of adding it to get to know more.”

Coming into college, students have a decent idea of who they want to be in their career, but as students develop new interests and grow independently, future goals and aspirations can differentiate over time.

“Everything had always seemed so planned out going into college,” said Brown. “I was going to graduate, then go to medical school to be a neurosurgeon. At least that was the high school plan. Then I took a full turn, and what I wanted to do ended up completely changing.”

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