Choosing A Major
how will your major affect your career options?
So, you have to choose a major, and you're wondering what impact your choice will have on your future career opportunities, right?
There are a few key points you need to understand.
Your college major will place very few limitations on the job choices available to you after graduation. Liberal arts majors get hired to do just about every conceivable job in business, government and nonprofit organizations. If you want to see the evidence, check out our listing of alumni jobs by major.
You will excel in a major that you intrinsically enjoy. And when it comes time to choose a career or look for a job, you are more likely to bring enthusiasm, good grades and a clearer sense of your own interests to the process.
Conversely, if you choose a major based on economic concerns or predictions about future job openings, you may find that, at some point in the future, the economy has changed and the career you had prepared for is obselete (see Point 3).
Develop "transferable skills" through internships, volunteer service and extra-curricular activities, as well as through your courses. Transferable skills are those that employers value, no matter the job or the career field.
If there is a particular career that you are hoping to prepare for, you may wish to take certain classes outside your major, perhaps in business or computer science.
Information on preparing for specific careers. These files are arranged by major, BUT in most cases the skills for a particular career field do not demand a particular academic major.
Major Decisions: How to Pick Your Major In College
Identifying and clarifying your academic interests
If you choose a major that you intrinsically enjoy, you are more likely to excel academically. Your grades will be better, you'll be more motivated and, when you start looking for a job, you will probably bring more enthusiasm and focus to the search.
But what if you're having trouble identifying your academic interests? Or you have several majors in mind and are having trouble choosing?
First, write down your responses to some of these questions:
When I go to a bookstore, am I drawn to a particular section? When I read newspapers or magazines, which articles do I always turn to?
Which classes do I enjoy the most? Which classes do I most actively participate in?
What homework assignments do I enjoy?
Do I spend extra time on academic work for a particular class, above and beyond what is required?
Am I drawn into discussions outside of class with undergrads, grad students or professors in a particular department?
In looking at the course catalog, do I find myself wanting to enroll in electives in a particular department?
- Am I mistaking skill (or a sense of ease) in a particular academic area with interest in that field?
Next, talk to people.
- Talk to students who are majoring in that discipline. Ask them what they like and dislike about it, what projects have given them the greatest satisfaction, and if the professors are accessible and inspiring.
- If you're feeling dazed and confused, talk to a BC Career Advisor. We're here to help. Call 552-3430, or drop by the Career Center at 38 Commonwealth Avenue, diagonally across from White Mountain Creamery.