Career services counselor gives advice on choosing a major

For some students, choosing a major is a hard process. Students often struggle in choosing a major because they are often operating on misconceptions and have little clarity on what they want to pursue.

Sajan Patel, undecided major, is going through college without an idea of what major he is going to choose.

“I have no idea on what I want to major in. It’s a hard process. For now I am just getting my general educational classes until I figure it out,” Patel said.

According to career services counselor, Traci Ukita, there are five main points students need to consider when it comes to the process of choosing a major.

The first point a student needs to consider is if they haven’t decided on a major, they need to know they are not alone.

“The vast majority of students will change their major, if not once then multiple times during their college careers,” Ukita said.

The second point is understanding that majors and careers are not the same thing.

A major is an educational program of study where students learn about certain disciplines. Learning about certain disciplines does not always translate into a specific kind of job.

Most majors are none-career specific, this means that they do not train people into specific career field. However, there are majors that do train students in a specific career such as nursing.

The third main point students need to consider when choosing a major, is to get to know themselves. This means assessing and figuring out what major would be a good fit. Getting a clear sense of who they are, what’s important and the kinds of things they like or dislike.

“When I first started college I had trouble choosing a major but by taking classes that interested me that helped me to choose a major,” chemical engineering major, Jose Santana said.

The fourth main point is to assess what’s out there in the world of work. To become educated in the types of work that is out there by either talking to experts or having firsthand experience.

Lastly, the fifth main point is remembering that choosing a major takes time.

“You are not going to wake up one day and know without really trying to think it through. Gather up information and bounce off ideas on different people. It takes time, it is a process,” Ukita said.

Ukita believes that students should not be shy in trying out new things.

If students are undecided, they should go talk to counselors, experts and college professors.

A great resource for students who are having trouble choosing a major is to simple Google search the phrase “What can I do with a major in” and explore the search results or to visit the following websites.

University of North Carolina Wilmington: What Can I Do With a Major in…

University of Berkley Career Center