Advice for making a "major" decision

Most students are troubled at some point in their college experience about whether or not they chose the right major. Given all the majors available, making a choice can easily become a stressful and daunting process. How do you choose the right one? Career counselor at the Department of Career Development Heather DiFino gave advice concerning the many resources that students can utilize when deciding on a major. According to DiFino, the “first line of defense” is to get acquainted with what majors are out there and where they could potentially lead you.

Setting up an appointment at the Department of Career Development with a career counselor is a good way to start. You can receive advice, individualized help and explore majors in a more reliable setting, rather than simply using potentially uninformed resources such as your family or friends.

Another relevant source for researching majors is the “What Can I Do With This Major?” link found under the career exploration section of the Department of Career Development’s website. This resource allows students to research a broad range of majors and discover associated careers while focusing on strategies that will aid students in attaining that desired career.

Another helpful facet of this resource is the option to view the profile of your associated career in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which can be easily accessed at the bottom of the page. Once you familiarize yourself with your major of interest, DiFino suggests looking at the websites of the professional associations related to the your major of interest.

Also found under the career exploration section is the Career Insider website, another database resource for students to use once they have decided on a major in order to determine a field of interest.

According to DiFino, it is easy to “pigeon-hole” select career fields with certain majors (for example, psychology must mean psychologist). Resources such as this website, however, list numerous possible fields and occupations that stem from your major or interest. Other useful information that Career Insider provides includes jobs related to your job of interest, as well as related companies and industries. It also describes the typical education or training required to obtain your job of interest.

“In all four years of school, these resources can be helpful—even for seniors,” DiFino said.

No student wants to experience the anxiety that comes with being uncertain about what major is best for them. Thankfully, these helpful tools offered by the Department of Career Development offer a convenient way for students to find support and guidance.u