Picking a Major
Feeling stuck about deciding on a major or career path? Use the following tips and online resources to help you in your career decision-making.
Spend time assessing your individual interests, personality, skills, values, likes, and dislikes. Career Development has several assessment tools that will help you learn about yourself and your career options. Contact us any time to take assessments about your:
- Interests: Strong Interest Inventory or Majors Scorecard
- Skills: Transferable Skills Inventory
- Values: Values Assessment
- Personality: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Cast a Broad Net
Don't think in terms of choosing a major or department. Think of an area of study, or a career area that interest you. There are many occupations that you have probably never heard of, just waiting to be researched! Begin to explore the various options that exist by checking out:
- Occupational Outlook Handbook
- Occupational Information Network
- Science majors seeking alternative careers to pre-med, look here (index)
Narrow Your Options
First, eliminate all majors that are absolutely out of the running. Then, view the list of majors offered at Augustana and use this to narrow your list of possibilities. If you really don't know what a certain program is all about, read about it in the academic catalog first before you eliminate it. Use the Career Center's library to research majors and careers related to them. Talk to a professional career staff member to see what self-assessment would best suit you.
Talk With Others
Talk with your advisor, professors, professionals in various fields, family, friends, and Career Center staff members about majors and how they match your interests and skills. Talk with people in the department in which you might be interested. Interview people who are in the careers that you may be interested in. Shadow someone in his or her job. Talk to the staff of the Center for Vocational Reflection.
It is never too soon to start building a network system. Get to know your professors and academic advisor. Build relationships with students in your classes. Join clubs and activities on campus. Join a professional organization (students often receive discounts) in an area you find interesting.
Working or interning in an area you are interested in is a great way of testing out whether a career (or major) is for you or not. You can "work" in an area for free too (volunteer!). Check out the campus organizations related to the major(s) on your list. Leadership opportunities will look good on your resume.
Still have a question? Email Career Development.