Sources for Choosing a Major and Career

Learning Objectives

  • Identify sources for learning more about specific majors and related careers

Success doesn’t come to you . . . you go to it.

~Dr. Marva Collins, civil rights activist and educator

This quote really sets the stage for the journey you’re on with being a college student. Your journey may be a straight line that connects the dots between today and your future, or it may resemble a twisted road with curves, bumps, hurdles, and alternate routes.

To help you navigate your pathway to career success, take advantage of all the resources available to you. Your college, your community, and the wider body of higher-education institutions and organizations have many tools to help you with career development. Be sure to take advantage of the following resources:

  • College course catalog: Course catalogs are typically rich with information that can spark ideas and inspiration for your major and your career.
  • Faculty and academic advisers at your college: Many college professors are also practitioners in their fields, and can share insights with you about related professions.
  • Fellow students and graduating seniors: Many of your classmates, especially those who share your major, may have had experiences that can inform and enlighten you—for instance, an internship with an employer or a job interview with someone who could be contacted for more information.
  • Students who have graduated: Most colleges and universities have active alumni programs with networking resources that can help you make important decisions.
  • Your family and social communities: Contact friends and family members who can weigh in with their thoughts and experience.
  • A career center: Professionals in career centers have a wealth of information to share with you—they’re also very good at listening and can act as a sounding board for you to try out your ideas.

Many organizations have free materials that can provide guidance, such as the ones in the table, below:

WEB SITE DESCRIPTION
1 List of College Majors (MyMajors) A list of more than 1,800 college majors—major pages include description, courses, careers, salary, related majors and colleges offering major
2 Take the College Major Profile Quiz (About.com) Quiz is designed to help students think about college majors, personality traits, and how they may fit within different areas of study
3 Choosing a College Major Worksheet (Live Careers) A six-step process to finding a college major
4 Common Mistakes Students Make in Choosing a Major (Wayne State University) Lists common misperceptions about choosing a major and explains how these misperceptions can cloud future plans
5 Best college majors for your career 2015-2016 (Yahoo.com) Explore a detailed list of the top ten majors that give students the greatest potential for success in the workplace, good incomes, and ample job opportunities
6 Explore Careers (BigFuture/The College Board) Explore careers by selecting “Show me majors that match my interests,” “Show me new career ideas,” and “Show me how others made their choices”
7 The College Major: What It Is and How To Choose One (BigFuture/The College Board) When to choose a major, how to choose a major, “you can change your mind,” majors and graduate school, and majors and professions

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