Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The nitty gritty of choosing a major

With the verdict still out on how relevant specific majors are to final careers (aside from pre-professional program, that is), the point remains. Sooner or later you have to choose. So how do you go about doing that?

The following are selected tips I typically share with undecided students.

Tip #1: Use the core. Thatís one of the great things about a liberal arts education. Not only are you forced to think across subject lines, but you also have to take courses you dislike. Courses you dread sitting through. So, what are some of those courses? Chances are, youíve already de-selected a goodly number of areas where you donít want to spend a lot of time in the next 2-4 years. When I hear students saying that they ďlike everythingĒ, we usually begin with this step.

Conversely, what do you love? What could you read, ponder, debate and relish for hours? Thatís your starting list.

Tip #2: Read the course catalogue. Itís filled with intriguing possibilities and sometimes overlooked options. Or, maybe your interests make you a likely candidate for an interdisciplinary major. Again, all that stuff is in the catalogue.

Tip #3: Start with the end in mind. So you want to be a project manager for a construction company but youíre attending a liberal arts college. How do you get there from here? Transfer? Give up on your dream?

Not so. Try a visit with a career counselor to discover a bucket full of creative options designed to fit you and where youíd like to head. 

Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 09/28 at 03:12 PM
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