Texas Tech University


Chapter 2

Finding your personal connection to your future major requires that you explore your dreams, interests, skills, strengths and aspirations.

Exploring those aspects of yourself can be useful deciding on a major in two ways:

a) it can direct you to a certain major or a specific area of study, or

b) it can confirm that a certain major fits your personal values, strengths and aspirations.

Activity 1: Holland Codes (RIASEC)

Holland Codes are a set of personality types developed by psychologist John L. Holland in the 1970s.

Dr. Holland reasoned that people work best in work environments that match their preferences. People and work environments can be matched for a best fit. Most people are some combination of two or three of the Holland interest areas.

These two or three areas become your ”Holland Code".

Follow the instructions below to find your personal Holland Code

holland codes

Holland Code Example Quiz

take a look at the graph in the opposite page. Read the description of each personality type. 

holland codes

that match each category.

Activity 2

The following questions will provide some useful input for selecting your major. They are quite broad in their scope, which might make them difficult to answer. Therefore, we provided a few prompts to help you jump-start your reflective thinking.

What are my skills?

-In what area do I have a lot of knowledge?

-What do I enjoy doing outside of academia?

What are my interests and what intrigues me?

-What courses did I enjoy most in high school?

-When I dream about the future, what do I think I would enjoy doing or being?

-What kin of activities am I not interested in, and why?

What are my abilities and capabilities?

 -Was poor performance in a particular area in the past due to lack of aptitude or lack of effort?

 -How have others judged my performance in the past?

-What are my talents: helping others, using my hands, organizing, public speaking?

What are my values?

Are my decisions and choices influenced by certain religious or philosophical beliefs?

Do I consider service to others to be an important part of my personal philosophy?

What practices do I consider ethical or unethical?

What place does a family have in my future?

 Will my values fit with a potential major or career field?

What are my motivations?

Do my strongest motivations come from my personal interests, my abilities, my values, or from some other factors?

Are outside pressures (family, peers, job market …) shaping and influencing my decisions?

Is my primary motivation based on the amount of money I think I can earn in a given field rather than interest in the field itself?

Who will ultimately have to live with the consequences of this decision- me or other people?

What are the realities?

Will I be able to meet entrance and major requirements on time, particularly in more restrictive departments like business, engineering, architecture, nursing, etc.?

What majors might fit my career goals? (SEE THE FOLLOWING SECTION FOR HELP)

Do my values, interests, abilities, skills, and motivations conflict with each other, or are they in agreement?

Activity 3:

For a more in-depth exploration, the following assessment tests are available to all Texas Tech students and alumni at the University Career Center


1) Strong Interest Inventory

-The most scientifically sound, thoroughly researched, and widely used interest inventory 

-Compares your pattern of responses to a pattern of responses of people of different types in different occupations. 

-Your information is compared to others allowing us to make assumptions about how likely you are to find satisfaction in the work typically done in a given occupation. 

-This assessment requires interpretation by a professional.

 Call (806) 742-2210 to set up an appointment.


2) Focus

. FOCUS will help you develop an accurate picture of your personal strengths, needs, and preferences; it will help you develop a sound career plan.

. FOCUS uses valid and reliable research-based career assessments.

. FOCUS will connect you with exact majors we have here at Texas Tech. 


3) StrengthsQuest®

-StrengthsQuest is a program from the Gallup Organization that focuses on students' strengths rather than weaknesses.

-By taking this online assessment, individuals can discover their natural talents. This knowledge has the potential to help students strategically choose a successful career path, conquer job and internship interviews, and gain a better understanding of what they do best.

StrengthsQuest Assessment


4) TypeFocus Careers

. TypeFocus Careers will assist you in identifying your "type" of individual from the 16 identified "types".

. This assessment will assist you in discovering your "personal environmental fit" in the workplace and assist you with information you may utilize in career selection.

. There is a quick Personality Questionnaire and College Success Factor Questionnaire - we invite you to complete one or both as you desire.

. These assessments are for the sole use of current TTU students, faculty, staff and alumni of Texas Tech University. Unauthorized use is prohibited as this site is protected by copyright of TypeFocus.



majors and minors


post grad