EXPLORING YOUR POSSIBILITIES
Choosing Majors and Careers
Download the SLCD Career Exploration Guide – you can use it as a self-directed guide or work on it with a career counselor.
Major is your focus of study and typically about half of your total credits. There are basically two reasons for choosing a major: To prepare for a specific field or job, or to immerse yourself in a subject that fascinates you.
The link between major and career is not always obvious. Liberal Arts majors develop skills that are highly valued by employers, like critical thinking, communication/writing, and ethical decision making. Other majors teach specific skills, such as accounting and computer programming.
Most students change majors 2-3 times while in college. Finding a fit and figuring out what you do and don’t like requires research, experience and talking to people. What you do outside the classroom, such as internships, volunteering, service learning or campus leadership, is equally important in shaping your career direction.
There are many ways to research careers, but the rule of thumb is, the more hands on your research is, the more realistic your findings will be. Think of it like shopping:
Researching online is like window shopping. Something catches your attention and attracts you, and you decide if you want to know more. To your right are some great places to window shop for career information.
Talking with professionals in the field or job shadowing, is like going in the store, feeling the fabric and seeing if the color fits you. Informational interviewing is a great way to meet professionals and pick their brains about their occupation.
Completing an internship, volunteering and part-time job is like trying it on and walking in a career. Now you can really tell if you are “suited” for this career. You experience the environment, the type of people who work in this field, and you see if it matches your strengths and values.
For personal assistance with exploring and choosing majors and careers, schedule an appointment with one of our career counselors. Call 503-838-8648, or schedule online: