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Additional Strategies

Additional Strategies for the College Major Selection Process

Here is a step by step process that you can follow in exploring and selecting a college major. This process places you in the driver's seat providing you with a clearer vision of where you want to head and your plan for getting there.

Meet with a Career Resource Center advisor frequently during your search for the perfect major. The Career Resource Center is located in Shaw Center, Room 101. Drop in anytime or call 801-832-2590 to schedule an appointment to make an investment in yourself!

Decision Making Steps

I. Identify the Decisions to Be Made

  1. What are my dreams for my life after graduation?
  2. What would my future ideal work scenario be?
  3. Why am I attending college?
    To prepare for a specific occupation or for general career advancement?
    To find myself?
    For the social opportunities?
    To gain a solid foundation for future graduate study?
    Due to expectations/ pressures from family or significant others in my life?
    Other ____________________________
  4. Where do I want to head in my life /career and what classes and experiences can I pursue to help me explore and move in that proposed direction?
  5. What elements need to exist for my work to be satisfying and meaningful?

II. Gather Information About Yourself

The Career Resource Center staff can administer a variety of assessments to help you determine your strengths, interests, values, skills, and key personality traits. For more information on what is offered visit the Career Assessment Site.

Interests
* What activities absorb my attention?
* What situations energize me?
* What words would I use to describe myself?
* How would others describe me?
* What do I dream of doing, but don't yet have an opportunity to do?
* What subject areas am I most passionate about?

Skills
* What activities am I best at?
* What are my strengths and weaknesses?
* What skills do I want to use in a job?
* What skills do I want to develop?

Values
* What personal rewards do I seek in a career?
* In what ways must I be challenged on the job?
* What activities bring me the greatest satisfaction?
* What type of work environment would make me happy?

Personal Traits
* What personal qualities will help me be successful at work?
* Do I get along with supervisors? Co-workers? The public?
* Does my personal style enhance my work with people, data, or things?

III. Brainstorm Interesting Options

Your self-assessment has given you information that will help you brainstorm potential industries and occupations of interest based on your personality profile. Your goal now is to look for patterns in your academic major and work interests. Given your unique personality characteristics, you may notice a pattern in terms of the "cluster" of work and educational options that interest you most. For example, you might find that you're drawn toward social service, physical science, the performing arts, humanities, business, nursing, or education.

To help you make a choice regarding an academic major, learn about educational and experiential entrance requirements for graduate schools or occupation(s) of interest, answering the question "What Can I Do With a Major In....?", visit Major Information located on the Career Resource Center web-site.

IV. Evaluate your options

At this point in the process make a list of the different major options you have discovered. Next, consider the following questions in relation to your options:

  • Do I enjoy or do I think I will enjoy the subject matter in this discipline?
  • Do I think I can perform well in this discipline?
  • If I have interest in more than one major can I take classes in more than one discipline and leave my options open?
  • How does this major relate to my self-assessment results?
  • How does this major relate to occupations and industries of interest?
  • Graduation employment? (These could include service learning, volunteer experiences and/or part-time employment or a self-obtained internship).
  • Will this major serve as a stepping stone to graduate study that interests me?

Sometimes the choice of a major becomes clear when you have a career interest requiring a specific college degree but sometimes remaining undeclared while you continue to explore available alternatives is a great idea. A double major or a specific major/minor combination might be your answer. Above all, it's important for you to become informed about your options and understand how a college degree will help you prepare for your top choices.

Meet with a career advisor, your faculty advisor, or academic advisor for help, guidance, and advice during this process. We are all here to support and help you!