Many students feel intimidated by the prospect of choosing a major. This is a big decision that will influence your future career options. The best way to ensure you’re making the right choice is to consider whether your major aligns with your interests and goals. However, always remember that your major is not set in stone — around half of all students switch majors at some point because they discover a new passion or change their career goals during their studies. As you set out to select your major, here are some tips to bear in mind.
1. Talk with a Career Counselor
Schedule a meeting with a career counselor to discuss what kinds of careers a particular major could lead to. Come to the meeting prepared with questions and think about how you will describe your skills, interests, and values.
2. Sign Up for a Broad Range of Classes
If you think you may want to change your major in the future, take a variety of classes to explore your options. This will make switching easier. Even if you end up dropping a class because you find you don’t like it, you’ll have learned something important. Talk to your academic advisor about how you can create a balanced schedule that will allow you to explore your options.
3. Discuss Your Options with Other People
When determining if you’ve chosen the right major, it can help to talk with as many people as possible, especially your professors and other students. Ask questions about the skills you need to have to thrive in a particular field, the difficulty of the required classes for a particular major, and any doubts you have.
4. Discover Careers Through Internships and Job Shadowing
Find out what it would be like to work in a particular career by taking an internship or shadowing someone on the job for a day. Internships also help you gain valuable skills to improve your employability after you graduate, whereas both options will give you the chance to network with valuable contacts.
5. Research the Job Market
Be realistic when thinking about your dream job. Research the market to find out about the outlook for a particular type of job, how much you’ll be able to earn, and what qualifications you need. If the field is competitive or the prospects low, it’s worth having some alternative career paths in mind as well. Consider what else would bring you job satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment.
6. Attend Career Fairs
Learn about career opportunities you may never have considered by attending career fairs on campus. This will give you the chance to talk to employers and recruiters about the kinds of jobs available, including what the work involves and what majors they prefer candidates to have studied.
7. Take a Career Aptitude Test
If you’re unsure what career to pursue, an aptitude test may be helpful. This will show you how your skills, interests, and strengths could lead to a particular career. Make sure you take a reputable test, such as one your university offers.
The other big decision you need to make when you start university is where you’ll live. For an alternative to Ontario Tech University, look no further than Foundry Simcoe. Instead of a cramped dorm room, you’ll have your own bedroom in a fully-furnished apartment or townhouse located just steps from campus. All our units have private bathrooms, in-suite washers and dryers, and spacious layouts. Book a tour to see where you could be living.