Did I choose the right major?

Do you find yourself questioning if the major you selected is the ‘right fit’ for you? Here are some easy steps that you can take to start the career exploration process.

1.) Breathe!
Although this may seem stressful for you, rest assured that you aren’t alone! 61% of students change their major at some point in their college careers. The goal is to help you utilize available resources and gain knowledge so that you aren’t changing your major multiple times!

2.) Learn about yourself.
Do you know what your values, interests, personality and skills are? Knowing these characteristics can help you narrow down options that may be best suited for you. Take a free online career assessment at utsa.sokanu.com to identify your values, interests, personality, and skills.

3.) Talk it out.
Don’t fret over it by yourself! Schedule an appointment (via Handshake) with a career counselor. We are here to help and would love to help you understand your assessment results and see what your best career path may be!

4.) Gain knowledge.
By now you know more about yourself and you are matched to possible careers, but what do you know about those careers? More than likely, it isn’t a lot. Use the Guided Career Exploration Worksheet as a resource for you to learn more about potential career matches to see if they are possible ‘fits’ for you. The “What Can I Do With This Major?” resource may also help guide you in a direction of a career path for you.

5.) Network.
Start networking now by talking with professionals in the field(s) that interest you. Network and find, for instance, an Accountant to ask questions about their career path and what they like/dislike about their job. Utilize LinkedIn’s Alumni feature to find professionals in your industry. New to LinkedIn? No worries. Check out LinkedIn Students for the new app, video tutorials, and handouts. Use the Informational Interviewing Handout for guidelines on how to conduct an informational interview.

6.) Try it out.
Take a class or two in the area that interests you before jumping into the new major. See what that Intro to Sociology course is all about, talk to students and professors within the department, or join an academic based student-organization.

7.) Gain Experience.
Look for opportunities to shadow, volunteer, intern or work part-time in an occupation that interests you. Always wanted to know what it would be like to become a financial analyst? Look for part-time jobs in a financial industry to learn more about a financial analyst’s position. Take notes on what skills and experience are needed to obtain your dream job when you graduate.

Additional Resources:
First Year Career Action Plan
O*Net Online
My Next Move
Career One Stop
America’s Career Information Network
Bureau of Labor Statistics- Occupational Outlook Handbook
World of Work Map
Texas Career Check
Texas Reality Check

If you still find yourself confused, schedule an appointment with your Career Counselor in Handshake.

By Heidi Sawyer
Heidi Sawyer Associate Director of Career Development and College Relations Heidi Sawyer