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Choosing a major

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by

Jason Hayward

on 15 July 2014

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Transcript of Choosing a major

A little bit about me...
Graduated from UC Irvine (zot zot) with a B.A. in Cognitive Psychology and Minor in Management

First major? Undecided/Undeclared

Wanted to do Philosophy, then Education, then Business, then (finally) Psychology

Major influences for me:
Subject matter
- how do our minds work?
Career choices
- Clinical Psychology, then Industrial/Organizational psychology.. now Educational Counseling!
Academic advisor
- Open to exploration, re-think and discuss parental influences
Intrinsic and Extrinsic influence
Intrinsic
- Internal motivator. i.e. "this topic interests me and I want to learn more"






Extrinsic
- External motivator. i.e. "I hope I make bank when I graduate!!"
Discussion: What is a Major?
Definitions
College definition
: A specific subject area that students specialize in.
A unified curriculum that has prerequisites, core requirements, and major-specific electives.
Typically 1/3 to 1/2 of your classes will be major-specific


Personal definition
:
Helps answer the question "Why am I in college?" or "What do I want to do?"
Defines and drives your academic/career goals and expertise
Can get you motivated/excited to transfer or finish
(in some cases) Can help you with priority registration
Types of Majors
Academic/Liberal Arts majors

Professional majors

Career-specific majors

Discussion: What influences your academic decisions?
Choosing a major
Thank you!
Counseling 7
Mt. SAC

Discussion: What makes a major unappealing?
Challenges
Not enough information about the major
Example: "I want to major in business...?"
or "That major can't get you a good job"
Parents and family expectations
Anxiety from time crunch or peers
Perceived difficulty of coursework
Example: "That major sounds hard" or "No way, that major has math in it"

What can help me choose a major?
Go to your counselor!

Talk to a professor/instructor

Check out student organizations/involvement

Talk to someone in the major
I already decided! Now what??
Go to your counselor!
Make sure you're taking relevant coursework
Determine if there are prerequisites in addition to IGETC/CSU GE certification
Career and Transfer Center
Find part-time jobs related in the field
Assistance finding universities that offer your major or its impacted status
Questions?

Jason Hayward
jhayward@usc.edu
Objectives

What is a major?
What types of majors are there?
What can influence my decisions about a major?
What are some of the challenges in deciding a major?
Where can I go to get help about picking a major?

Objectives Summary
Do you know...?
The definition of a major
What types of majors are out there (and what campuses might offer them)
What can influence your decision about a major
Challenges you might face when deciding on a major
What you can do to help you decide or pursue a major
Academic or Liberal Arts majors
Professional majors
Career-specific majors
Where to find majors
Assist.org (your new best friend!) http://www2.assist.org/exploring-majors/Welcome.do
General study in a particular field
Examples: English, Anthropology, Psychology

Not career-specific
But can be career-oriented

Research-friendly


More career-oriented than academic and liberal arts majors
HOWEVER: majoring in these DOES NOT mean it is necessary to go in that field

Examples:
Working for the city - Public Policy or Public Administration
Acting - Theater or Drama
Computer programming/development - Computer Science

Some academic majors can be professional majors
Medical school: Pre-med can be Biology, Chemistry
Law school: Pre-law can be Criminal Justice, Political Science, Philosophy, or History

Specialized to a particular career or vocation

Employers look specifically for this type of degree to hire people

Examples: Nursing, Engineering, Teaching

career general
career specific
What does it mean to you?
What does it enable you to do?
Why should you declare?
Full transcript