Not every student goes to college with a clear path in mind.
Maybe you know you want a degree, but you’re still figuring out a major. You’re in the right place! FRCC is affordable and offers lots of personal attention thanks to small class sizes and supportive staff. Now is the perfect time to explore your career options.
While it is true that many people’s careers evolve over time—and some of us even make intentional career changes after a while—you should pick a major you will use for the foreseeable future. Here’s a guide to help you come up with your options and narrow them down to a manageable number to choose from.
Step #1: Start with your interests.
Students often get stumped when thinking about majors because they focus on their academic strengths and weaknesses. Try this: Think first about what sparks your curiosity and passion. Is it helping people? Working with kids or animals? Analyzing and solving problems? Creating things? Make a list, and don’t worry if your interests aren’t all related.
Step #2: Think about things you’re good at.
Consider strengths, both in school and beyond. Listing out the subjects in which you excel is a good start, but how about other skills? Are you especially patient? Are you a good listener? A strong communicator? A natural leader who doesn’t mind taking the lead on projects? Do you work well in teams? Are you great at digging in to solve difficult problems methodically? Think beyond just academic subjects.
Step #3: What are your priorities?
Think about your personality and your core values. Do you like working with people—or do you prefer to work on your own? Do you envision yourself managing others one day, or prefer to be responsible for only yourself? Do you want to move away or stay where you are now (close to family and friends)? While you shouldn’t plan out your entire life, it’s important to think about the aspects of different careers that might—or might not—fit well for you. (For example, frequent travel make not be great for a homebody who wants children. Or solitary, individualized computer work may not be the best option for someone who enjoys working with others and does well in a team environment).
Step #4: Do some research.
After all this self-reflection, it’s time to do some homework. You’ll want to spend time with the helpful career services team checking out:
- Jobs that align with your interests, skills, and priorities;
- Education requirements for various jobs (both for entry-level positions—and for jobs down the road as you progress through a career path);
- The trajectory of various careers ;
- Earning potential;
- Current and projected demand for jobs in different fields.
This should help you narrow down your options so you can begin thinking more seriously about jobs that intrigue you—and majors that would help you get those jobs.
Step #5: Gather insights from others.
Now that you have several ideas in mind, you should talk with the career services team about ways to explore different job options firsthand. Down the road, an internship might make sense—but there’s plenty of exploring you can do early in the decision-making process. Arrange discussions with people who work in jobs of interest to learn more about what they do, what they majored in, and how they got where they are today. You might be able to arrange a job shadow to observe one of your contacts in their workplace.
Choosing a major in college is a big decision. Go about the process methodically—by exploring your interests and skills (a career assessment is a good idea), evaluating the possibilities, and researching careers that fit you best. Your career journey starts here. Let’s start things off right!