Should You Let Your Mom Choose Your Major?

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Ok, we know. Your parents are the last people you really want to turn to for life advice. Well, other than the “eat your breakfast,” and “brush your teeth” kind of advice. After all, your dad can’t figure out how to keep his wifi on for more than two days at a time. And your mom still hasn’t figured out how to check her email from her phone. There’s a lot they don’t know about how the modern world functions, so why should you listen to them about which online degree program to choose?

Ok, you’ve got a point. Maybe they aren’t someone you should turn to for career advice. Although, chances are if you’ve already decided to get a bachelor’s degree online, you did listen to your parents, because we know they’ve been telling you that you should go to school for years. And they’re right, after all, once you earn your degree your lifetime earnings will increase by around 40% over those with only a high school level education. But what do your parents know about which majors you should choose?

It’s probably better to think of your parents as sounding boards rather than prophets when it comes to advice on choosing online degree programs.

Your parents probably know you fairly well (and if you don’t, um, don’t ask them for advice about which college major to choose!). They may be able to help guide you to the right career field just by helping you narrow some things down. How so? Well, let’s say you are considering becoming an art major. Your parents might suggest you consider graphic design so you can focus on both art and a practical career set. Or, you might be considering going the practical route, but your parents know you should go for a more traditional art degree.

There’s also the chance that they’ll give you some useful opposite advice. In other words, your mom might say you should become a doctor, but the minute you hear her say that, you know that’s not you—so your mom actually helped you cross a major off your list!

Another thing your parents might be able to do to help you narrow down your choices for college major is to point you toward established people in the fields you’re considering. They’ve been alive longer, they probably know more professional people than you do, so they could be a really good resource for finding someone else with really good practical advice you can use.

Even if you already know you’re never going to take your parents’ advice, just talking to them about the decisions you face with your online degree can help make you feel more supported. It can also help you feel more resolved if you have to defend the major you intend to choose. There’s nothing like being forced to really think about why you want to do something, and your parents might actually help you make a choice in ways you hadn’t really imagined.