Many students think of college as a huge and risky investment because schools can’t guarantee a good job upon graduation despite the huge sticker price. Deciding on the right major is crucial because the wrong decision can result in financial hardship and career dissatisfaction. One strategy to help you identify the best major and maximize financial investment is to determine your ideal career. By articulating your career goals, you can then figure out which major will prove the most beneficial. Some tips for choosing your best career:
The first step to getting on the right career track is to determine your personality. Are you introverted or extroverted, do you like routine or spontaneity? There are several online personality tests, but not all are accurate or helpful in career planning. Your best bet is to visit your campus career center and speak with a qualified career counselor.
Another important consideration is your career values. Some career values: social interaction, autonomy, achievement, and security. Decide which values are most vital and which ones you can take or leave. A career counselor can help you narrow down your career values. You can also take the free values assessment at Myplan.com.
Interests matter when it comes to career satisfaction. No matter how much money you make, a lack of interest in your career is sure to lead to problems at some point. Does this mean you have to pursue your passion as a career? Absolutely not! In fact, not everyone has a strong passion for a particular subject. You just need to have some level of interest in your work so that you remain motivated. How do you identify your interests? Take career tests (preferably at your career center) and think about the classes you’ve enjoyed. Another great way to identify interests is to get work experience through part-time jobs and internships. You may happen upon a career path that you’ve never even considered.
Although you want to enjoy your work, there are practical factors to consider. For example, is the career experiencing growth or decline? Will the expected pay be enough to meet your needs? No career offers guaranteed employment or high pay, but try to choose a field that offers a good chance of steady employment.
After identifying your career goals, it should be fairly easy to choose a major. To improve your chances of success, pick a minor that supplements your major. For example, if you want to be a child psychologist you may choose a psychology major with a child development minor. Still not sure? Check out some flexible degree choices that lead to a variety of promising careers.