One of the hardest decisions that you have to make when you start your college career is what your major will be. Some of us have known what it was going to be since we were little kids and others of us put off deciding until sophomore or junior year! Picking a major can be downright scary because what our major is has a huge influence on what we do with the rest of our lives.
Luckily, you are not alone in this big decision making process! At UP, not only do we have a great interest profiler called the O*NET that helps determine what some of your interests are and what jobs fall in those categories, but (even better) we have fabulous career counselors that will personally help guide you in your major decision process so that you can pick the major that you will be the happiest with!
Beyond all of the great resources that the career service office offers, here are a few tips to help jumpstart finding the major that is right for you!
- Research- There are so many majors to choose from (UP has over 40 different majors) that your possibilities are endless! Browse through all of your options on UPs website and see what each major can offer you beyond college. The more you know about each major, the more you will understand what is appealing to you and what isn’t. It’s far better to know all that you can about a major rather than not knowing enough about a major that you think is for you, only to find out that it’s not what you want to do.
- Informational Interviews- I’ve just recently learned about how useful informational interviews are and how beneficial they can be to helping you decide on a major. Through UPs career service office and the alumni association, you are able to network and meet with people that have the career you hope to someday have and talk with them about what major they chose and how they got to where they are in their career now. These informational interviews are great because you are able to meet with people in all different fields to see if their career is something you might be interested in pursuing.
- Pros and Cons List- This may seem silly at first, but making a pros and cons list for any situation helps you to see the positive and negative of whatever decision you are trying to make. By making a pros and cons list of whatever major you are thinking of choosing, you will be able to see both the short term and long term actions you will need to take to get to your end career goal depending on that major. When you make multiple lists for each that majors you are contemplating you will be able to compare them to each other and see which list works best for you.
- Pick a major for you, not for others- The biggest theme of Linda Landis Andrews’ book is that ultimately, you should pick a major that you are passionate about and that fits best with your interests. Often times, students pick majors because they feel like it will help them get a “high paying” job right out of college, or because their “parents told them” to be a certain major. Your major will lead to a job that you will have for probably 40+ years of your life! So pick something that you love, because it would be awful to go to work every day hating what you do and regretting your college career. If you work hard at what you do you will find that success will eventually come!
Overall, be smart about what major you pick. Research all of your possibilities and choose something that you will love! For most people, their major has a lasting impact on what they do for the rest of their lives, so make your major decision one that you won’t regret!