How to Choose a College Major

So you’re in high school and you don’t know what you want to do with your life as far as your college major and career; or you’re in college and you haven’t picked a major, and you’re getting a little stressed about it. Don’t worry, because eventually you will pick a major and move onto graduating and living, “happily-ever-after.” OK, I can’t guarantee the “happily-ever-after” part, but I can help with providing some tips that will lead you towards ways of figuring out what you might be interested in, in terms of picking a college major and/or career to pursue.

Career and Self Assessments
There are career assessment tests that measure what you’re good at, in terms of particular skill sets, such as being analytic, which relates to Law or Law Enforcement. There are also value interest inventories, and personality tests you can take such as Myers Briggs which can tell you what personality traits you gravitate towards, such as being an extrovert (happy, bubbly personality type), or introvert (kind of shy and quiet type). If you are the quiet shy type, probably not a good idea for you to pursue a career as a “Game Show Host” or a “Greeter” for Walmart. The ladder has an age requirement I believe, seniors only; but you get my point. You can visit your high school or college Counseling and Career Center to access some of these assessment tests, or visit this Free career skills assessment link provided by the U.S. Department of Labor-and it’s Free!

Take College Courses That Interest You
If you’re new student entering college, and you’re not sure about a major, take courses that interest you; or if you are a current college student, continue to take courses that interest you as well. By doing so, you might find yourself gravitating towards areas of interest (courses) and skill sets that best fit your personality type, again based on the types of courses that you find engaging.

Use Your High School or College Resources
If you have thought about some majors and careers and want to know more about them, you can go to your college’s Career Center and do some research to find out more information; same applies if you’re in high school. Go to the Career Center or Guidance Counselor Office.

Do Some Informational Interviews
Let’s say you have thought about being in the Communication area, such as Public Relations or Social Media. You can call email or call someone in their respective fields, and ask nicely to do an informational interview. Most professionals are flattered that someone would take the time to ask them about their profession, and are cool with meeting with you to inform you about what they do. Also, you may know a friend of a friend, or a family member, second cousin, etc. who is involved in a career that you might be interested in, that you can contact about doing an information interview.

Sometimes You Have to Just Go With It
At some point, you have to pick a major and go with it, and see where it leads. In many cases, people choose a major, graduate and will do something related to what they studied; and sometimes not–but opportunities may come up as you move along and find your place professionally. Also, you may decide to continue your education, so the sooner you complete your Bachelor’s Degree, the sooner you can see about Master’s or Doctorate programs–or other post graduate areas, such as Medicine, etc. In addition, as an undergraduate student, you will most likely do internships to get more experience in your major/career field, and find out more about it as you go. But pick something that interests you, and that you’re excited about. If you’re good at what you do no matter what career, you’ll earn a good enough living, and more importantly, you’ll like it!

Additional Free On-line Resource
Check out this website link from Univ of North Carolina, Wilmington: “What Can I do with a Major” http://uncw.edu/stuaff/career/Majors/
The above link provides great information about various college majors, such as basic information about it, what career path this major leads to, and other great professional and informative links related to this major and career.
Good luck to you!

Resource(s)

http://www.myersbriggs.org/

http://www.acinet.org/explore/view.aspx?pageID=4

http://uncw.edu/stuaff/career/Majors/