Three Steps on How to Determine a Major
There is a very easy way on how to determine a major for college. It doesn’t have to be as complicated or time consuming as some sites suggest. Wikihow.com recommends taking a little of everything your first year (you typically are required to do so anyway), identifying courses you like (even though they may not lead to the degree you like), researching careers (without any guidance as to what career suit you best can be a long tedious process) and then choosing a major. The three simple steps outlined here are the easiest way on how to determine a major for college for yourself.
How to Determine a Major Step 1: The easiest way to determine a major for college for yourself is simply to take a career test with a college major profile. Why? The main reason for going to college is to get the education necessary for a career. At a minimum, you will want to find a career you will like. No one wants to go to work day after day to a job that they hate and saps them of energy. So you will want to find a career that you will like. In addition, you don’t want to spend needless hours researching just any career that pops into your mind because you don’t know all of the names of all of the career possibilities. Even if you did, at your age you will not know enough about the work tasks of a career to choose the ones you’ll like the most. So what do you do? You get help from a well-researched career test. The best career test with a college profile is an interest test. Interest tests assess what you like in various categories and based on years of research will provide you a list of careers you will enjoy the most. You might also wish to consider ability tests to ensure you have the capabilities to perform the work of that career or even personality tests so that you find one that suits your personality as well.
How to Determine a Major Step 2: In your career test results report, you will be given a list of career options ranging from 10 to 50 depending on the interest test. The results report that actually matches your interests to 10 top career choices and provides a college major profile is the Strong Interest Inventory®Profile with College Profile and Interpretive Report. You could chose the cheaper option without the Interpretive report although I don’t recommend it. Because of this test’s 50 year track record, it is wisest to choose a career from their top 10 or one of the related career options. When you make your selection, you will take into account the other factors students weigh into a career decision – abilities, values, parental expectations (avoid these), earnings, job market and so on. If you have difficulty with how to determine a career for yourself, consult a career specialist or take a set of career tests along with career consultations. Be very wary of free college major quizzes online since they do not have the research behind them and often steer you to the colleges and universities that fund them.
How to Determine a Major Step 3 (Option A): Once you have chosen a career that you like from the results of your career test with a college profile, you will need to review the list of suitable college majors associated with that career to determine a major for yourself. You might find that some of the college majors suitable for your other career options as well.
How to Determine a Major Step 3 (Option B): If you are undecided about which career to choose, you might determine a major for yourself based on the college major that appears most often among your top 3 or so career choices. This approach for how to determine a career major allows you the flexibility of choosing a broad career path. In other words, you determine a major that leads to a number of careers you might like. That way should you change your mind about which career to pursue you wont have to switch to a different major which can be very costly. Switching college majors or degrees typically costs between $500 – $5000 because not all courses will transfer from one degree or major to another. Compare that to the cost of career tests or even career test packages which is typically less than $500 so the expense of a career test usually pays for itself. Once again, be wary of free career tests since they have not undergone research proving the results are valid or reliable and often are set up to steer you into the sponsoring colleges or universities.
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