For many college students, choosing a major is the biggest decision they have ever had to make. Many are fearful that if they make the wrong choice, they will be miserable and jobless for the rest of their life. While this is not true, we understand the pressure surrounding this decision. At Stevenson University, we want students to feel confident in who they are and the decisions that they make.
Without a strong sense of one's interests, strengths, values, and personality, choosing a major can be extremely overwhelming. At Stevenson University, we understand that this process of Personal Direction takes time to develop and articulate. We encourage students to begin working with a career advisor early in their college career--ideally during their freshman year.
Career assessments such as the Strong Interest Inventory and Myers Briggs Type Indicator can help a student to have a better understanding of his or her interests and personality.
There are several online assessments that might be helpful as well. However, we encourage students not to view these assessments as a quick-fix answer to the complex decision of choosing a major. Rather than turning directly to the list of careers or majors that might be a good fit, students should process these types of assessments with a career advisor.
We also encourage students to do something kind of crazy ... explore offline! There is only so much that the Internet can explain. Students can learn more about themselves and potential career opportunities by conducting informational interviews, volunteering with organizations that they are attracted to, completing an internship, finding a part-time job, and getting involved on campus. These experiences can provide a student with concrete information about their likes, dislikes, passions, and preferences.
Finally, don't rush the process. Many students will hastily choose a major because they think it links to a certain type of career when it reality, it does not. Or, they will choose a major in fear because everyone else seems to have it figured out. This process takes time and effort. By working with a career expert, having meaningful conversations with mentors and faculty, participating in meaningful experiential learning opportunities, and reflecting often, a student can make the best informed decision with confidence.