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Major Exploration

Did you know that as many as 79% of new college students in the U.S. may have questions or concerns about selecting a college major? Often times students who think they are certain of their major, end up changing their minds.

It is important to remember that major and career exploration is a process. Throughout the exploration process, you will discover that you have many interests and abilities however the challenge is how to distinguish between your career aspirations compared to things you enjoy doing as a hobby.  Over the course of our lifetime, most of us will work for approximately 10 employers, have a few different careers, and spend less than five years in each position.  Therefore, it may be helpful to consider a series of short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals instead of trying to pinpoint one specific career.

The major and career exploration process begins with learning more about yourself and how you incorporate your values, skills, interest and personality into your desired career choice.  Consider these steps as a part of your exploration.

Step 1 - Self Assessment

Step 2 - Explore Occupations

  • Read occupation description, training and other qualifications required, salary information and job projection information. Go to the Occupational Outlook Handbook link at http://www.bls.gov/oco/
  • Go to the Career One Stop Pathways to Career Success link at http://www.careeronestop.org            
  • Visit The Riley Guide link at http://www.rileyguide.com/
  • Read occupation description, training and other qualifications required, salary information and job projection information

Step 3 - Narrow down your Choices

  • Choose majors that fit your interest, skills, personality and values
  • Talk to faculty and students in the department about their experience
  • Determine top choice(s)
  • Meet with an academic advisor to determine degree requirements

Step 4 - Confirm your Decision

  • Conduct Informational Interviews
  • Seek job shadowing opportunities
  • Seek volunteer opportunities