Am I in the Right Major?

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choosing a majorBethany from Texas A&M asked:

“I entered college as an architecture major, but after some contemplation I switched to communications. After working for the campus newspaper, I discovered that there are certain parts of the job I loved while there were other components that weren’t as exciting. I am trying to narrow down what I would like to do with this major but am struggling to come to a decision as to which path I should head down. I’m even beginning to doubt as to whether this major is right for me. Can you provide me with any advice?”

Thanks for your question, Bethany –

Did you know that the average college student changes their major at least four times before graduation? Even though it is important to get on a solid track forward, it’s also just as important to remember that you CAN change your major multiple times. In fact, it’s quite the trend!

It sounds like you may need to take a step back and evaluate your past experiences, do some research and make some connections in order to decide whether this major is truly right for you.

Evaluate Your Past Experiences.

You mentioned that you worked at the campus newspaper, but only enjoyed certain parts of the job. When recalling the duties that you did not enjoy, what about them was undesirable? Were they not a fit with your personality? Did you struggle to complete some of the tasks associated with them?

Taking a good, hard look at your experiences thus far and what you have liked and disliked is crucially important in finding out what your passions are. Allow me to share a short story:

When I was in college, I was in a similar dilemma as you. I started out as a marketing major and thought that would be a really interesting career. After taking a marketing class and completing a marketing internship, I found that selling was not a passion of mine, which eliminates many job choices in the marketing field. During my junior year, I took a management class and absolutely loved it, especially the HR and Training component. I decided to become an academic tutor and peer instructor for college students and immediately fell in love with teaching others. Based on my past experiences, I combined my love for business and passion for teaching into a career in corporate training and coaching!

Take some time and evaluate ALL of your past experiences including classes, jobs and other experiences to see what your passions are. Once you’ve found out what that is, GO FOR IT!

Do Some Research.

Research is a critical part of the career development process. Sometimes it can be limiting to just brainstorm on your own. Expand your thinking by taking advantage of the internet and the countless career resources available to you. Your Career Center at Texas A&M is well-developed and equipped with many plans and information to help you get started.

Texas A&M has an excellent Career Center Library, which has an abundance of resources available to help you with searching for information on various different careers. In addition, the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has information on nearly every career imaginable. The more time you can spend doing research on various careers, the more you will find out about what you can do that aligns with your true passions.

Make Some Connections.

I’m sure you have heard it time and time again, but getting your career off the ground doesn’t happen without the help of others. I would highly encourage you to take advantage of the benefits of meeting with a career advisor to discuss your career path in more detail. Someone with an outside perspective might help you sort through where you might want to head next.

If you need some guidance on networking, there is a long list of articles and resources here, including an article that I have written on how to build a network.

Good Luck!

Dan


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Guest Coach

The Campus Career Coach accepts contributor content from a variety of authors, career coaches and other content providers. All contributor content is reviewed to make sure it provides real answers to career questions! Please contact esmith@gradleaders.com if you're interested in being a contributor!

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