Choosing a major is one of the more difficult decisions we have to make as college students. There are many majors to choose from, and deciding on only one may seem daunting. You may feel that you will be locked-in to a certain career path based on the major that you select, or you may feel pressure from your family or friends to pursue a certain major. Many students have similar concerns regarding major choice, so if you are having trouble, you are not alone. Below are some steps to help make deciding what major you want to pursue less stressful.
Decide what you want from your major.
The process of choosing a major starts with you recognizing what you desire in your major. Maybe you are interested in pursuing a major for enjoyment, or you have a broad range of interests, or you already have an occupation in mind for your future career. Whatever the reason, deciding on your goal is the most important step because it will guide the rest of your decisions.
Learn about yourself.
After you know what your goal is, it is important to recognize your own strengths, weaknesses, personality, and attributes. This will help to narrow down your major choices, as you will want to choose a major that fits closely to your unique personality and skill set. You may already have an idea about what your strengths and weaknesses are, but you may not know how they apply to a major or a career. Try taking one of the personality tests at the Career Center. I took two of the tests, and I was surprised at how accurately the results reflected my true personality. The tests also provide some possible career paths, which are very helpful when deciding on a major.
After you have narrowed down your possibilities, gather information about each field to get a better understanding of each one. Some quick research about fields you are interested in can go a long way towards making the best decision. To make my decision process easier, I started by eliminating what I did not like, and then moved on to narrowing down what I did like. Although it is a simple step, removing majors that you know you do not like is often the easiest way to start consolidating your major choices. Personally, I do not enjoy medical related work, so I marked off any medical related majors, such as a surgeon or a veterinarian.
Declare your major.
All of the hard work is done, and now you can choose your major! Determine whether or not you need to apply to your major. If you are unsure, check out the major’s website for direction. You will also need to complete the necessary paperwork, and you may want to schedule an appointment with an academic advisor for more help. Do not worry about choosing the “wrong” major – you can always change your major, and most students do. Just be sure to complete all the requirements for the major you decide to pursue. Once you have completed all of the necessary work, all that is left to do is enjoy the pursuit of your major and your future career.
The most difficult part of choosing a major is figuring out where to start, but once you come up with a concrete idea of your goal, the process becomes much easier. Do not feel like you have to go through the major selection process alone! The Career Center is here to help, and has all of the resources you need. Be sure to check out the Career Center’s website for more information about choosing a major, including a UGA Majors checklist and other major choice resources. You can schedule an appointment with a Career Consultant if you would like to talk through the major selection process, or if you have specific questions about a certain major. Also, feel free to stop by the Career Center during walk in hours to talk briefly with one of the Career Consultants or Career Development Interns. The Career Center is here to support you on your journey through college and into a career!
– Jeff Sidlovsky
Contact the UGA Career Center!
2nd floor, Clark Howell Hall