11 Tips on choosing a major

Choosing a major can be a daunting task. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider your options:

  1. Most career fields don’t require a specific major, and people with specific majors don’t have to use them in the ways most commonly expected.
  2. Instead of thinking “What can I do with my major?” think about “What do I want to do?”
  3. Do not make a mad rush to choose your major! The best decision is a well informed one.
  4. Be broad, determine an educational and career “path.” Remember that choosing a college major that is right for you is important, but keep it in perspective. A major will not necessarily be what you will be doing the rest of your life!
  5. As you attempt to determine what you want to do, the choice of an academic major will take on new meaning. You’ll no longer be so concerned with what the prescribed route of certain majors “allows” you to do. Instead, you’ll use your career goals as a guide for academic decisions about your major, your minor, elective courses, internships, and co-curricular activities.
  6. In most cases a college major alone is not enough to land you a job. There is tremendous competition for good jobs, and you need experience and competencies related to your chosen field. Internships, co-curricular activities, and part-time jobs provide opportunities to gain hands-on experience and develop these competencies.
  7. Recognize that an occupation alone will not lead to a fulfilling life! In your educational pursuits, it is important to consider life’s other major aspects: family, culture, religion, and leisure activities.
  8. Be involved in the process!
  9. When 3,000 liberal arts graduates were surveyed regarding the relationship between their major and current employment, 70 percent indicated that there was little connection between their undergraduate major and current career
  10. Know what marketable skills are attractive to employers and find a way to develop these skills while in college. Many prospective employers are looking for students with knowledge and experience in oral and written communication, social science research methods, visual design, media production and computer skills.
  11. Regardless of which major you pursue in college or which degree you earn, be assured that you will graduate having had the opportunity to develop the following skills:
    • written and oral communication
    • innovation and design
    • problem solving and critical thinking skills
    • teamwork and cooperation
    • investigative and research skills
    • ongoing skill development