To Declare or Not to Declare
A major and a career are different!
An employer will consider your major as just one of many factors when making a hiring decision. In addition to your major, the skills you've acquired, your personal attributes and achievements will all factor into the hiring decision. Some majors lead to a wide variety of career paths. Thus it is important to have a well rounded college experience.
Many people change their careers many times during their life. Thus, selecting your major does not have to be a one-time decision. You may be surprised where your career takes you.
Learn About Yourself
The key to finding a satisfying career is matching your personality to your career choice. Understanding who you are, your likes and dislikes, is the first step. This is a process that takes some time and reflection, but your career will occupy the majority of your adult life, so it's worth taking some time to learn what will be satisfying to you to help you make good career decisions.
Undecided vs Indecisive
You may be one of many who doesn't know what major is right for them. Here are some thoughts about what steps you might take to help you make this decision.
It's helpful to consider whether you are undecided or indecisive. Being undecided is a normal step along the way. It usually means you need more information about yourself, educational options, careers, or perhaps how college majors relate to career options. The assumption is if you have all the pieces of information you will be able to make a decision.
Being indecisive is different. It may indicate you have trouble making decisions in many areas or struggle to make a decision in spite of having a lot of information. There are many reasons you might be indecisive. Fear of making a mistake is one common reason.
Signs that You May Be Undecided
- You need more information about careers
- You need more information about your personality
- You generally make good decisions in other areas
- You are unsure what criteria to base your decision on
- Participate in the DISCOVERY! program
- Meet with Academic Advisor
- Utilize the Academic Major Checklist
- Consult with Career Center
Signs You May Be Indecisive
- Struggle to make decisions in many areas of life
- Feel fearful of making a mistake
- Postpone decisions hoping others will decide for you
- Change your mind frequently
- Get very anxious about making a decision
- Feel unready to face the consequences of your decision
- Worry about what others think of your decisions
- Feel very uncertain despite having information needed to make a decision
- Worry your decision will be the wrong one
- Feel you never have enough information to make a good decision
- Counseling at Student Counseling Services to address any personal issues relating to your career decision making.
A desired major may not admit a student.
Because majors have limited space, students may not gain admission to a desired major. While that is disappointing, it may lead to a student finding a major that better suits his or her strengths and which he or she will enjoy. Take a look at more options.
Some students choose to work to improve their credentials and then reapply to the major they would like to enter, but there are no guarantees that a reapplication will lead to a different result.
I can't stay in my major.
Students who do not meet requirements to continue in their majors or who are dismissed from a major should carefully consider their situations and explore their options. While it may be possible to reapply to a previous major, in some cases reapplication will not be an option. If you don't know whether or not you could reapply to your previous major, talk with your departmental academic advisor. If readmission to that major is not a possibility, it's time to look at other options.