Sharon Givler, Director of Career Services, writes about major consideration and exploration.
Midterms have come and gone. Registration for the spring 2014 semester is just around the corner. My, oh my, how time flies when you are having fun!
So, have you chosen your major? Are you satisfied with your choice? Are you beginning to think that maybe you would prefer a different course of study? Would the addition of a complementary second major or minor enhance your studies?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you are in great company. It is quite commonplace for college students to be uncertain about their choice of a major even when they have declared one. Some studies suggest that up to 50% of college students who have chosen a major will change to another one. For some, making changes to their major happens two or three times.
There are all kinds of reasons why changing majors happens frequently. Sometimes it is because students find themselves struggling academically or they find the subject matter no longer holds their interest. Sometimes they realize the initial choice of a major was made for the wrong reason(s). Occasionally students find they’ve become inspired by a professor or class that unearths a passion within they didn’t even know existed. Still others find their desire to increase their employability after college is leading them to consider other options.
Do you need some help?
College is a great time of discovery and most students – decided or undecided – have much to learn and discover about their values, skills, goals, interests, and personality. If you want to make a wise choice regarding a future career path, knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and preferences is fundamental.
Thus, you may find our computer-assisted guidance program, FOCUS-2 , to be a big help in clarifying your preferences, identifying potential career options, and suggesting potential majors that would be good choices in preparing for those options. Other inventories as well as a chance to talk over your career plans or lack of them with a career counselor are also available.
What Can I Do with This Major is an excellent resource for exploring possibilities . Use it to learn about the typical career areas associated with ninety-four (94) different majors. Not all of the majors listed on the handy chart are available at LVC, but many are. For those that are not, you might want to consider exploring the possibility of a self-designed major. That could be a great conversation to have with your academic advisor.
Advice I like
College should be about studying something you enjoy and do well in. It is a time for developing your strengths and honing skills that will enable you to use those strengths to their fullest.
“Find a major that makes you intellectually engaged, that expands your brain and deepens your understanding of the world, ” says advisor Mary Beth Collier of SUNY New Paltz. Most employers are looking for transferable skills — the ability to solve problems, work in teams, write and communicate, and think critically. These can be developed in any discipline. It makes no sense, she says, to “suffer through a major” because you think it will lead to employment. Moreover, it is difficult to predict the employment market. “ Four years from now,” she says Michele Campagna, the executive director of the Center for Advising and Student Transitions at Montclair State , “freshmen will be applying for jobs that don’t even exist today.”
When in doubt, seek assistance. Most LVC professors and administrators have been confused or uncertain about the choices before them at one time or another. With years of experience in decision-making they just may have a few tips to help you think clearly and act prudently with respect to your selection of a major and vocational focus. You might also want to check out the October 9th Career Services Blog entry as well – Exploration, Part 1: Drawing Connections.