Making a Major Decision
Meredith College's Academic & Career Planning Office has created this informative magazine for students and prospective students interested in learning about how to decide on a major.
Making a Major Decision No matter where you are in your college career, making a major decision is Let us something big. help you along the way. You’ve got time to decide what to do with your life. Take some time to explore your interests and then begin your journey into career development. Career development is a process. Throughout these pages, you’ll find five steps that will help you to reach major success! It begins with your first career daydream and continues throughout your whole life. It’s much more than getting that first big job after graduation, or making the decision Step 1 to attend graduate school. It is a step-by-step process that reflects the growth and development of your vocation. Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Think about YOU Step 1 The first step to choosing a major is self assessment. Knowing more about your skills, interests, values and personality will give you the tools to choose a major. Personality • Where do you get your energy? • How do you learn best? • How do you make your decisions? • How do you approach your life? Skills • What are your talents, abilities and aptitudes? • What skills do you enjoy using? • What skills do you want to develop? You should, and can, have a career that you love. Consider what fits best with your personality. Working in a position that you love will help you live a meaningful and fulfilling life. Knowing your personality type can help you choose the career environment that is the best fit for you. By answering these questions you can begin to explore specific career options. Values • What is important to you? • What must you have in your career to make it worthwhile? When choosing a major and a career, it is a good idea to consider your values. You’ll want to choose an opportunity that is consistent with your values in order to make your work meaningful and fulfilling. Knowing your values can help you decide whether or not your career goal is worth pursuing. INterests • What are your career interests? The Holland Model enables you to choose three out of the six areas that best describe your career interests. Choose three that describe you best. I’m a... “Thinker” “Doer” For For Information, Go To: http://www.meredith.edu/acp/assessments.htm “Crea Realistic—“The Doers”—People who have mechanical or athletic ability; prefer to work with objects, machines, tools, plants, or animals, or to be outdoors. Social—“The Helpers”—People who like to work with people to enlighten, inform, help, train, or cure them, or are skilled with words. Athletic and adventurous • Practical/Con- pathetic • Friendly Patient • Idealistic • Understanding/Emcrete • Straightforward/Frank • Mechani- Investigative—“The Thinkers”—People who like to observe, learn, investigate, analyze, evaluate or solve problems. Enterprising—“The Persuaders”— People who like to work with people, influencing, persuading, performing, leading or managing for economic gain. Introspective • Curious/Inquisitive • Intel- Assertive • Self-Confident • Energetic • lectually self-confident • Analytical Extroverted Artistic—“The Creators”—People who have artistic, innovative, or intuitive abilities, and like to work in unstructured situations using their imaginations and creativity. Conventional—“The Organizers”— People who like to work with data, have clerical or numerical ability, carry out tasks in detail or follow through on others’ instructions. Creative/Artistic • Open • Intuitive • Efficient • Well-Organized • Ambitious • Original Numerically Inclined cally Inclined “Helper” ator” “Organizer” “Persuader” My Top Three: ________________ ________________ ________________ Know Your Options Now that you have a better understanding of yourself, you need to learn about your options at Meredith College. Ways to explore the majors: • Academic & Career Planning— discover your interests through individual appointments, assessment inventories, career panels, CPS 101. • Academic Advising—explore Step 2 • Networking—meet people to devel- op contacts to learn more about fields of interest. You can also use LinkedIn and attend networking events to expand your network. • Experience—volunteer to gain knowledge and make connections, participate in Undergraduate Research, Study Abroad, internships, jobs, and more. Use CareerLink to find opportunities! interests through courses. • Faculty—talk to your professors to learn more about Meredith majors, pathways of study, and after-college options. For For Information, Go To: http://www.meredith.edu/acp/newstudents.htm Make a Decision Once you know more about yourself and your options, you can make an informed decision about a major. You may think there is only one major for each occupation. In fact, there are very few majors that lead to one occupation. Most liberal arts majors lead to many career opportunities. Step 3 Possible approaches to making a decision include: • The systematic approach—Weighing pros and cons • The intuitive approach—Choosing whatever feels right • The external approach—Talking through the decision process with others, gaining input from others • The internal approach—Thinking things through completely Questions to ask yourself before you make a decision about a major: How have you made decisions in the past? Have you been successful with this method? If so, you may find it helpful to apply this method to your current decision. For For Information, Go To: http://www.meredith.edu/acp/newstudents.htm Systematic Intuitive External Internal Ask for Help Step 4 It’s never too early to begin career exploration and planning. The ACP staff is available to assist you at any stage of your career decision-making process. • Career Planning Seminar 101 (CPS 101), a one-credit hour, pass/ fail course focusing on self-assessment and major selection/confirmation. (Spring) • Individual appointments with our professional staff to help formulate academic and career goals. • Workshops and career panels addressing a variety of career topics. • Information on career fields, located in the Resource Library and online • Assessments to assist you in under- standing your interests and how they relate to majors and careers. • Information sessions conducted by employers recruiting on campus. • Career fairs and networking events to help you connect with employers for internships and job opportunities. CPS 101 1 on 1 attention Networking Experience workshops Resource Library On-Campus Recruiting Assessments Career & Networking Fairs For For Information, Go To: http://www.meredith.edu/acp/ whatcanidowithamajorin.htm Take Your Time Step 5 As a freshman or sophomore, you have time to make a decision about a major. Consider these tips: • Take the pressure off yourself and enjoy the career planning process. • Keep your career options open while you explore. • Consider a summer job, internship or co-op that will help you narrow your interests or develop new ones. • Recognize that many students change career plans and majors during their college years. • Learn about the resources available on campus. • Get to know the ACP staff; let them help you discover the adventure of career exploration. • Remember that skills, values, personality, interests, experiences and academic accomplishments are all important to future employment potential. Check out www.meredith.edu/acp