Majors and Career Decisions
While choosing a major can feel like a very big deal, most students are surprised to find out that the impact of this decision on ca
reer options is relatively minimal. But Why?
First, although a few career fields require specific areas of study (e.g., teaching and medicine) many occupations are open to graduates from a variety of majors. In many cases, employers are more concerned about grades, personality traits, and skills acquired through internships (link to internship page) and extracurricular activities than your choice of major.
Second, although the first jobs of many graduates are often related to their majors, their career paths can diverge widely from the original course. In fact, the Department of Labor reports that the average person shifts career direction three times and changes jobs 8 - 10 times in their lifetime.
So lighten up: it's important to recognize that your choice of major will not define where you'll be working for the rest of your life, but will lay the groundwork for the direction you will go.
How to figure it out: Find out more about yourself - take a career assessment (link to career assessment page) to learn more about your interests, abilities, values and personality.
The most important thing to remember is that you aren't alone AND you don't have to go it alone - contact Career Services (link to staff page) to talk with the staff about your options and how to go about researching.
Some Ideas to Consider:
1. Choose a major in a subject (or subjects) you enjoy and do well in. This will make it easier to maintain a high G.P.A, which is an important selection criterion to many employers.
2. If you want to go to graduate school, consider a major that will provide a good background for the area of study you are considering. For example, chemistry is a good foundation for graduate study in Pharmacy.
3. If you've discovered your calling in life, consider a major that will allow you to fulfill your needs in this area. For example, if you feel passionate about building sensitivity to cultural differences you might major in Russian Area or East Asian Studies, or Sociology.
4. Another option is to design a major that will help you develop skills for an occupational field. As an example, designing a major with coursework in Art and Psychology would be helpful in pursuing skills for Art Therapy.
Meet with Career Advisor
Need some help sorting through your options? Not sure what major to choose or how to search for a job? Come in to meet with one of our interns or make an appointment to talk with Wendy.
Take a Career Assessment
All of Career Services assessments are linked here. You must have passwords to take these assessments – call 937-327-7521 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Find information on Internships
Internships are key to getting real experience towards your career goal. It’s also a great way to gain references and see what “the real world” is like. Try one in the summer or a couple during the school year and see what doors open for you once you graduate!
Community Service - It's giving back AND exploring the world of work. Community service is a requirement for graduating from Wittenberg, so why not use it to do some exploration? Talk with Career Services or the Community Service office about how your interests match up with excellent service opportunities that can help you determine your path.
What Can I Do With a Major In . . .
Take a look at what past grads from Witt have done with their majors – it’s not always as cut and dried as you think; a Liberal Arts degree has a lot of potential!
Tiger Career Advisors Network (TCAN) - part of Job & Internship Board. Alumni have volunteered to talk with you about the place where they live and work, their career path and what it’s like to work at their company. Talking with them can help you with your choices and give you solid information about what you can do with what you’ve got.
Graduate School - Finding the Right One and Applying
Graduate school is one of the many options you have after graduating from Wittenberg, but how do you go about finding the right school and program? Find out more here.