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How to Choose a Major

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Kelley Collins

on 19 May 2014

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Transcript of How to Choose a Major

Common Myths of Majors
Majors: Decision Making
What Not to do in
Decision Making
Choose too soon...
The anxiety of choices makes you choose prematurely.
You choose the socially acceptable major.
Choose too late...
Waiting until "lightening strikes" but it never does and you never have that "ah ha" moment.

How to Choose a Major
What are the:
Fears & Frustrations
Pressure you feel about choosing a major?
Picking a major and a career are the same thing

Choosing one major means giving up on all others

My major will determine what I do for the rest of my life

You can't do anything with a ____ major
Myths Debunked
Your major does NOT necessarily equal your career
Picking a Major Does NOT mean giving up on all others
May be possible to...
Add a Minor
Go to Graduate School

My Major will Determine the Rest of My Life
You CAN do something with a ________ major
Some Further Considerations
Taking Major Courses
Find out what a major course is like and get a better understanding for the subject

Many major courses do not overlap with GE and may only count for electives
If you choose a high unit major and do not need electives, it will not help you graduate in a timely manner
Utilizing General Ed
Easy way to get a better understanding of the subject while taking care of a graduation requirement

Not all majors have classes that overlap in GE
Need to declare major before you reach 70 units; will loose priority registration if you do not
A Little Perspective
"Your goal is to make the best tentative decision now based on what you know about yourself and the labor market ahead. For most this will be just the first decision in a process of making the final decision”
Holland Interest Types
Each major has room for many personality types

Likes to work with tools, machines, animals; is skilled at working hands-on; learns by doing, seeing touching; work with nature & outdoors

Likes to obtain scientific knowledge; curious person, wants to understand how things work; uncovering and gathering new facts, analyzing and interpreting data
Actual Jobs
The average amount of times a person changes careers is 3 times in their lifetime

Creative; Like to do creative activities like art, dance, music, crafts and creative writing, usually highly skilled in one of those areas and enjoys watching the arts; value self expression through work; not bound by rules
Work with people collaboratively; Like to help people, through teaching nursing, or providing information; wants to help people solve problems; is helpful, friendly and trustworthy
linear degree vs. a non linear degree
Example: Philosophy

Critical thinking, evaluation of chains of reasoning, consideration of many different perspectives on a single subject, clear written communication on complex topics

law, medical school, business school, humanitarian non-governmental organizations, technical writers
Develop Skills In:
Go into careers and graduate programs in:

Likes to lead people, sell things and ideas; enjoys politics, leadership, and business; energetic, ambitious and sociable

Likes to work with numbers, records or orderly jobs in general; good with written records and organization; likes structure; strong attention to details; accuracy

A brief honorable mention
Intrinsic Values
What motivates you to truly love your work day after day?
Achievement & Status
Helping others
Preserving the environment
Environment Values
What conditions provide an optimum environment in which I can do my best work?
Comfortable Income
Physical Challenge
Work Content
What makes my activities most satisfying and engaging to me?
Problem Solving
Public Contact
Relationship Values
What characteristics of interaction with others in my workplace are most important to me?
Working Alone
Decision Making

What do you need to improve in order to well in ___________ major?

What have you done in the past that demonstrated your skills or helped you build them?
Classes and projects
Student organizations

Be Honest with Yourself
Do you want to use those skills?
Strengths and weakness
You are not a failure if your strengths do not align with a certain career
How committed are you?
Number of school years
Course requirements
Assess Your Skill Level
Creating your Wandering Map
Know your Resources
Course Catalog
Review Majors
Know the classes that are required of majors
Read Course Descriptions
Impaction Requirements
Major Departments Websites
What is the Departments mission statement?
What does the department say about careers in the major?
What services does the department provide?
Is there advising?
Career resources?
Why is it important to know your values?
Knowing how values are aligned with your major and future career is often critical to understanding what motivates you and what will satisfy you
World Wide Web
Occupational Outlook Handbook
California Career Zone
University Websites
Bay Area Community
Get it touch with local organizations and find out more about what they do.
Volunteer and Intern
Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (ICCE) - CSL Classes
Informational Interviewing
Speak to someone in the major
Speak to someone in a field you are interested in
Career Center
Gator Jobs
Job Listings
Speak with Your
EOP Advisor
Be proactive with exploring these resources
Your advisor can help you process these topics and information
Make an appointment with a Faculty Advisor.
Discover community projects that the Faculty is involved in.
Find out what research the faculty is working on.
Myers Briggs
True Colors



*O Net has 852 job titles
Creating Your Wandering Map
What to Include:
Significant Events
Hobbies & Leisure Activities
Award & Honors
Influential People
Classes & Projects
Volunteer Activities
Family heritage/culture
1. Draw and write down ideas
2. 5-10 minutes
Finding Your Themes & Threads
Look for common themes
Write down at least (2) themes
Share with someone WHY you chose two items on your map
What have you NOT yet experienced but would like to?
skills you have used
values you hold
recurring interests

"An object at rest tends to stay at rest, and a object in motion tends to stay in motion"
- Sir Isaac Newton
Full transcript