Choosing a Major
Not ready to declare a major? You’re not alone. Many new students are undecided about a major or are uncertain about the choice they have made. Don’t worry! Your first year of college is a great time to explore your options, take a variety of courses and get involved with campus activities. Take an active role in the exploration process.
In other words: Don’t just wait for the inspiration to hit you. Go out and find it!
- Who are you? What interests you? What are you good at?
Take advantage of a variety of personality and career assessment tools available at JSC. Complete a self-assessment with TypeFocusTM (contact the Career Development Office at 635-1257 or firstname.lastname@example.org for the access code.)
Once you have your assessment completed, come into the Office of Career Development to talk about what you learned about yourself and how to “Do What You Are.” *Visit the Office of Career Development
It’s tough to make a decision if you don’t know your options. Consider the following and find out more:
- Read the college catalog, or visit the JSC website, for descriptions of courses and academic programs
- Visit the Advising & Career Center’s Resource Library for information on internships, careers, exchange programs and choosing a major
- Explore these websites:
- On the right of the page, under Tools, click on VT Guidance Central
- Choose “Enter VT Guidance Central” program, under “Adults”
- Select Choices Planner
- Under Work, go to Work Values Sorter. Then just do the activity and learn what you can.
- Talk to other students who are majoring in the programs you find interesting
- Talk with faculty, staff, alumni or community members in the fields you are considering
Get Involved/Gain Experience
Students who are engaged in campus activities are more successful and gain valuable experience that may help you to choose a major and a career. Here are some ways to get involved:
- Join a club
- Volunteer through SERVE
- Get involved with the Student Government Association
- Consider the National Student Exchange or study abroad
- Participate in athletics (varsity and intramural)
- Find a campus/work-study job
- Participate in an internship
Remember, choosing a major does not mean that the exploration process is over. Stay involved, seek out new experiences and strive to make the connection between your education and life beyond JSC.
Set Your Career Goals
Once you are clear on your major, you will want to make some decisions on specific career goals. The world of work is wide and wondrous! Your education at JSC will prepare you for a huge number of potential occupations and having an idea of an end goal will help you to enhance your experience while completing your degree. Here are some tools that will help you explore various careers, industries, companies, job descriptions and salaries, as you think about how these options fit with your interests and skills.
Research Some Majors and Occupations
- “What Can I do with this Major?”: Find out what kind of jobs people with your major do and where they work
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Get details on almost any type of job, including duties, educational requirements, salary expectations, job outlook and more.
- O*Net Online: Discover what occupations will work for you
- Inside Jobs: Match your interests and skills to hundreds of careers and internships
Find Out What JSC Faculty and Alums Have to Say
- Go to department webpages to learn about your professors and instructors and their careers;
- Read JSC alumni profiles
Take Advantage of Digital Tools
- Create a profile on LinkedIn and join professional association groups and alumni groups, such as the Johnson State College Office of Career Development, Johnson State College, and the Johnson State College Alumni Group
- Create an account on JSC’s Experience eRecruiter network and then visit frequently to learn about internships and jobs