Help! How Do I Choose a Major

Help! How Do I Choose a Major

Choosing a major is an important part of your college journey, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating or super stressful! One of the best things about being at Texas A&M is that there are so many majors to choose from, all with amazing opportunities to prepare you for a variety of future careers. Former students from all majors apply their learning to a diverse range of jobs and industries, some of which they may have never even heard of before coming to campus. There are many resources available to you at Texas A&M to help choose a major- check out some of these tips and remember to have fun with the process!


1. Explore Majors at Texas A&M

  1. Visit majors.tamu.edu to check out the list of majors at Texas A&M
    1. Explore the major page to get an overview of different majors, potential career paths, and links to see average salaries and companies that have hired Aggies in the past
    2. Check out the Marketable Skills tab to get a sense of what valuable skills you could gain in this major that could apply to any career field
  2. Another option is to start with the types of careers you’re interested in and find out what majors are hired in that field. Looking at job descriptions that interest you and understanding what kind of experiences or skills are needed for your dream job could also be helpful. A resource to use could include: HireAggies Career Finder- This tool can help you decide what kinds of careers you might want to explore by finding out what your interests are, what you like to do,  and how they relate to the world of work. Click here to log in to your HireAggies account.
 

‚Äč2. Use The Traffic Light Method To Give All Majors A Chance

The traffic light method is a way of going through a set of options and assigning each option a color from a traffic light- red, yellow, or green depending on if you want to stop, move with caution, or go! You can use this method to sort through the list of majors and find what majors you’re interested in learning more about. The steps are:
  1. Go through the list of Texas A&M majors with a red, yellow, and green highlighter/pen
  2. Read through each major title (yes, all of them!)
    1. Mark majors you are definitely not interested in with red for STOP
    2. Mark majors you are unsure of or need to learn more about in yellow for MOVE WITH CAUTION
    3. Mark majors that you are highly interested in with green for GO
  3. Once you’ve marked every major, go back and look up each one that is listed as yellow or green on majors.tamu.edu.
  4. Finally, narrow down the list of A&M majors from 130+  to your top 5 choices from your list of yellow and/or green


3. Get to know yourself through assessments

Maybe you’re just starting at Texas A&M and aren’t sure what classes or careers interest you. Maybe your entire life you thought you wanted to major in something, but now you’ve taken some classes and are finding that the subject no longer interests you in the same way or the career path doesn’t suit your future goals. No matter the case, assessments can help match your values, knowledge, interests, skills, personality, and passions to a career field so you can find what majors would serve you bes

 Self-assessments:
  1. SIGI3: This is the TAMU Career Center’s online assessment that provides guidance on selecting a major and finding occupations related to your major. Click here to get started!
  2. 16 Personalities: This is an online, informal version of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and can help you better understand your personality. This assessment also provides you with a list of celebrities who share your personality type! This assessment is not associated with TAMU, and is merely a suggestion for an outside source you may find helpful. Click here to get started!
  3. Enneagram: This free assessment can help you understand your personality and how you interact with and react to the world based on the 9 Enneagram Personality Types. This assessment is not associated with TAMU, and is merely a fun suggestion for an outside source you may find helpful. Click here to view the Career Center Enneagram webinar, as well as check out tx.ag/9types for more information and resources!
  4. CliftonStrengths- This paid assessment can help you identify your Top 5 Strengths from 34 research-validated talent themes and how to continue developing your own individual talent themes throughout your life. Click here to access the Gallup website, then click “Store” and select “CliftonStrengths for Students Top 5” and use your tamu.edu email address during checkout to use the Texas A&M educational discount. You can also visit strengths.tamu.edu for more information on the assessment plus to learn about Strengths workshops and events brought to you by TAMU Student Activities.

TAMU Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) Career Assessment Options:

  1. The Strong Interest Inventory (SII) & Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): These are both formal assessments that are offered through CAPS, and must be administered by a trained professional. Click here to sign up for an initial phone consultation with a CAPS counselor to assess your career counseling needs and request to take one or both of these assessments. The Strong can provide you with a list of careers and majors that may be a great fit for you while the MBTI can help you learn more about your personality and based off of this information, the job families and occupations that might be a good fit for you..
  2.  Focus2: This online self-paced, interactive career planning program helps you to explore college majors and plan your career based on your interests, values, skills, personality, and professional goals. A helpful feature is that it can provide you with a list of careers you might find interesting and the corresponding Texas A&M majors that could best prepare you for each career. Click here to get started!
     

4. Talk to people with that major or career

Use your network to connect with upperclassmen, former students, and more! Get a sense of what factors led them to choose their major or career, what classes or professors they enjoyed, and what their day-to-day life is like in their chosen field. Don’t immediately know anyone in a major or career you’re interested in? Look into major/professional organizations on campus, reach out online via LinkedIn or Facebook groups for future professionals, or use the Find An Aggie tool on AggieNetwork.com to search for Aggies in that major or career field.
 

5. Attend a workshop or other event

Look for events through the Career Center, campus offices like Residence Life, specific colleges, or other external sources such as professional organizations that are aimed at helping students learn more about themselves plus strategies to help decide major & career areas of interest. These events are often free, and are a fun way to engage with others and take advantage of additional resources and perspectives.

Still unsure about how to choose a major? Remember that your career advisor is here to help! Texas A&M has an advisor for all majors, as well as undecided students and 1st and 2nd year students. Click here or call the Career Center (979-845-5139) to make an appointment today! Remember- one major can lead to many career paths and opportunities, and a career can be met with many different majors!


 
Written by Natalia Cervantes '21, Graduate Practicum Student at the Texas A&M Career Center



 
 
Posted by Abdul Kader, Abdullah on 10/23/2020 10:17:47 AM


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