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LUC - Choosing a Major

Career Development Center presentation for LUC Univ101 classes
by

Jon Rosenfield

on 14 March 2016

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Transcript of LUC - Choosing a Major

Many CORE classes are pre-requisite or lower level classes in majors (e.g. PSYC 101).
Some students get concerned if they take a class that does not count for CORE or their major; but almost all students need general electives to graduate.

Do not be afraid to use your general electives to explore majors.
Speak with your advisor about potential majors and he or she can recommend CORE classes to take
Looking Ahead.
Exploring majors through courses
Read and Research:
www.luc.edu/career/
"Career Exploration" shortcut
Candid Careers (via RamblerLink)
www.collegeboard.com/html/careerbrowser.html
Wetfeet guides (viewable in RamblerLink)
Choosing your major - next steps:
Most employers are interested in
skill sets
more than curriculum:
strong oral and written communication skills
effective interpersonal skills
the ability to problem solve
time management and organization
demonstrate technical
aptitude
How feasible are the major(s) and minor(s) you are considering?
How many credit hours you must take each semester?
How to schedule for study abroad
How to work or do internships abroad
Is summer school is needed?
How many electives you have left to take?
Remaining CORE and school requirements
Internships and/or service learning
How to schedule coursework for MCATS, LSATS, GRE, etc.
Other considerations to discuss with your advisor:
Choosing your major(s) is
NOT
a trap...

The truth about choosing majors
Most college graduates report that work satisfaction is only “indirectly related” to their majors.
A
useful
choice of major(s) is one:
That allows you to
balance
external needs and your own
interests
and
passions
.
Picking your major(s) based on current economic conditions or this year’s list of “hot jobs” is
not
a good idea.

Major is NOT the key determinant in most career paths
You do not have to choose a career before you choose your major(s)
Careers and available majors have developed separately
That said, choosing your major(s) does not mean that everything else falls into place.
Interruptions, changes, and disappointments will likely be part of your experience.
?!?
!?!
Being open to

change

and ready to recognize it as a possibility for
growth

will be

crucial
.

Exploring Majors
CORE, electives, and other opportunities to explore disciplines exist inside and outside of the classroom
A major that is
right for you
can open doors to interesting
experiential opportunities
.

Example: departmental internships or research opportunities
A major that is
right for you
can enhance a
skill set
that you would like to further develop.

Example: pursuing majors that require strong written communication skills or work analyzing complex sets of data
Majors vs. Minors

Any major(s) can be valuable
as long as you are motivated to find situations that allow you to
apply
what you have learned.
EXPLORE
THE
CORE

GENERAL
ELECTIVES
When you were younger, what did you spend countless hours doing, or something you engaged in that made you really happy.

In what situations do you feel most at home or most comfortable? Are you alone or with others? What types of things are you doing?

Ask three people who know you really well: What do you see as my real passion? My calling?

So ponder these questions:
Which ones were your favorites?
Why?
Which ones did you do well in?
Can you find a common thread?
How could those classes relate (even abstractly) to career paths?
More things to ponder....

...About courses you take(you might
even consider your HS courses).
Some majors can easily be added as a double major...
Some students believe that because they have an interest in an academic area, they
MUST
major in it.
...but sometimes it is easier to take classes that interest you as electives or to do a minor (typically 18-21 credit hours).
REMEMBER: minors are suggested course sequences, not certifications - they often do not have career-relevance outside of your personal goals and interests.
LUC students love
to declare minors!
Major Requirements:
Your mileage may vary
Majors vary from 30 credit hours to over 80 credit hours.
Sometimes it is harder to add a major with a lot of credit hours after your first year if you have not taken any of the classes yet. For example:
Education
Business
Nursing
Natural Sciences
There are alternatives:
Use electives for pre-health requirements
Post-baccalaureate and Master’s programs
Alternative certification programs
Minors
Choosing your major(s) should not be done in a vacuum...
...So be prepared to read, research, and
talk to individuals
who can give you helpful advice about next steps.

...Context is everything!
... and you couldn't possibly know everything about potential careers right now, because they are outside of
your
context...
Use the Professionals:
Career Development Center
Academic Advising
Center for Experiential Learning
Faculty
Talk to Current Majors
Alumni and Others in the Field - people who do the kinds of work you might be interested in
It's okay to take individual courses
that interest you without
declaring a minor.
Full transcript