One of the many things that our education coaches can work with students on is choosing a major. Many students aren’t sure what career path they want to take, how much school they want to commit to, or what interests they can turn into lucrative careers. Each student’s team members work together to help guide students through a process that can include self assessments, personality tests, arranging meetings with experts, meeting with advisers, volunteering in the community, or any number of other activities to explore their interests and discover their passions. Experts recommend the same basic things when helping someone choose a major:
- Think about what you like! The very first step is for students to think about what they enjoy doing. They may reflect on what subjects they enjoyed (or didn’t) in high school. Some ways to brainstorm what you like:
- Make a list of your top 10 favorite things. You may find that some of your interests can combine to make a particular degree program more appealing. For instance, if you enjoy animals and engineering, you might consider becoming agricultural engineer.
- List and consider your strengths and weaknesses. What sort of job appeals to your strengths?
- Decide how much college you want to commit to. College is time consuming and costly, so think about how much time you want to spend in that phase of your life. Are you ready to work full time and become a professional in just a few years? Do you need time to sample different programs and decide which interest you want to pursue? These are all important aspects to consider.
- Talk to advisers, experts, and professionals. Some community colleges offer Career Interest Survey sessions, or workshops. North Idaho College, which most Northwest College Support students attend, typically holds several of these each year.
- Relax. Remember that it’s okay to go to college without a particular career goal in mind. The experiences and knowledge are priceless for so many other reasons. It’s okay to work on a degree at a slower pace, or choose an 8-year university career, or participate in a certificate program and move on to a career. Do what works for you.