Towards the end of carefree high school comes the dreaded decision of which college major to take. For many students, deciding on a career is a confusing and frustrating process that brings on the pressure of opting for a major immediately. There are many things involved in the decision process though and the first thing that one must remember is that it is imperative to allow ample time before making a choice.
A comforting thought may be that a large group of freshmen students step on the university campus clueless of their career path. Many universities require students to choose a major in Sophomore or Junior year. The first year in college will then allow students to get a feel of the next chapter in life and guide them to the right direction of choosing a major. These details should be available in most university websites and it is the job of the students to do their research.
Choosing the right major for a person should involve a journey to ones’ self. Personal interests, hobbies, priorities, skills, goals and values are elements to determine the nature of one’s further studies. After evaluating each element and writing them on paper, the next step would then be listing down career options that match. Using the internet to get a complete list of all possible careers is both easy and beneficial. Knowing the careers of interest would narrow down the careers options to explore. For instance, if you are good at writing and theory then you should choose a course where you have to write more and calculate less, this means theoretical course rather than practical. The skills you can improve with different tools available on the internet that are related to writing, paraphrasing, rephrasing etc.
Traditional assessment tests such as the “Myers Briggs Type Indicator” is available for those who are unsure of their decision. Consulting school counselors is also an option as they are equipped to help students discover themselves through a set of tests to determine one’s personality and to assess one’s skill and subsequently the career options that they may of interest. With a narrowed down list of careers, one should be able to see a trend or the general industry type to pursue. If this is not the case, there is no reason to panic as the next steps would allow more thought on the final verdict.
Networking or looking for people who are currently in the industry of one’s choice would provide a realistic outlook of a career, This entails asking parents, friends, parents of friends, professors and university alumni for references. One can then ask the industry practitioners about their first-hand experiences in their work as well as the pros and cons of working in their industry. They will also be the best to ask for advice on how to succeed in their respective industries and what to expect especially in entry level.
In summary, it is important to take an organized approach in deciding on a career. One must give enough thought and time before reaching a final decision. One should ask as many questions to themselves as well as their mentors. The end goal is to get the perfect career match to one’s personality, interests, skills and values. Choosing a college major will actually be a fun journey if done the proper way!