How to Choose a Major When You’re Unsure
You are a college student. Now what? Some students are lucky since they know what they want to study before arriving. More often than not, though, students wonder what major should I choose. This question, and several others, are common on college campuses across the globe. The critical thing to remember is to take the time to learn as much as possible about your options to make the best decision for yourself.
So, what should you do if you are asking yourself, “What college major is right for me?” or “How to decide between two majors?” or even “What stem major should I choose?” Before answering the question, pat yourself on the back. Career planning is a significant undertaking. Congratulate yourself for taking the time to build a plan for your future.
1. Research your options.
One place to start is the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics which publishes the employment outlook for the United States. Between 2021 and 2031, the U.S. economy is expected to add 8.3 million jobs, led by healthcare and service-providing jobs. Additionally, leisure and hospitality jobs are expected to be one of the fastest-growing sectors following the pandemic.
Once you have identified some national statistics for occupations that interest you, visit the Lackawanna College website. This is where you will find information about every possible career pathway available on campus. Lackawanna College offers over 60 majors across Associate, Bachelor’s, and Certificate programs. The website will help you gain knowledge about all the possibilities.
The next step is to consider location – where you want to live once you complete your degree. Does this location have the type of industry that you identified as your area of interest? Healthcare and service industries are typically universal, meaning you can find these occupations everywhere. However, some job roles, like the technology sector, may be location-specific.
2. Make an appointment with an academic success coach.
Visit the Academic Success & Student Success Center to chat with an academic success coach to discuss your interests. Your academic success coach will help you build upon your interests and match them to career pathways. Introductory-level courses are designed to help you explore fields of study that may or may not become your major. Taking a variety of introductory courses is a great way to learn whether you want to spend more time learning a particular subject.
3. Visit Career Services.
Here at Lackawanna College, a Career Services department works closely with students to help them launch their careers. Schedule an appointment with a counselor who will meet with you to discuss your interests, career goals, opportunities, and occupational outlook. Read job postings available at Career Services for roles you may be interested in. Do you see a list of educational requirements? This list may provide valuable information about what is needed to start the field. Build a checklist for yourself and mark off the skills as you learn.
4. Talk to people.
Talk with friends, family, classmates and professors about your interests. The people who know you best often offer advice and insights that can prove valuable. Your professors at Lackawanna College bring their education and experience to the discussion. Remember to include them in your research. Ask about their career journey, and seek their input about potential employers and classroom experiences which may bring guest speakers for interaction.
5. Look for an opportunity to job shadow
Once you have built a list of majors that interest you, seek an opportunity to interview and observe someone working in the profession. People typically like to share their stories or career experiences with young people or others interested in a specific profession. You can also seek input from a professor or Career Services and reach out to local professional organizations with outreach programs to help individuals learn more about a particular profession.
There are many opportunities to uncover unexpected professions and opportunities. Remember, selecting a major can be a big decision; you are not alone. You have the entire Lackawanna College team here to help you. All you have to do is ask. Apply today. Visit www.lackawanna.edu