Gathering Information About Self
When choosing a major, many students think first in terms of a career and then try to find a major to match this career. This is not the best way of choosing a major since many careers do not require specific undergraduate majors. The best way to choose a major is to begin with yourself.
To make the most appropriate decisions about your choice of major and possible careers, you need to have a clear understanding of your own interests, attributes, values and goals. The following self-assessment tools will help you do that.
Self-assessment is an activity that takes time, experience, and self-reflection, and you should begin this process immediately upon entering college. You cannot count on the “right” major just popping into your head. You need to take an active role in finding the major that fits you, not trying to fit yourself to a major. As you take classes, engage in extracurricular activities on and off campus, work or participate in internships, begin to ask yourself the questions that are included in NSSC’s Self-Assessment Exercise.
Click to go to the Self-Assessment Exercise, then return to this page for some further suggestions to help you get a better understanding of yourself.
A good place to begin the self-assessment process is at Career Services in 113 Student Services Building. As their name implies, this is the place you go to find out information about careers, but it is also the place you go to take a career assessment or interest assessment inventory. These are helpful tools that will aid you in determining your interests, strengths and abilities which is the first step in exploring both majors and careers.
In order to take an interest assessment you will first need to make an appointment with a career counselor who will meet you to get an idea of which assessment would be most appropriate for you at your stage of the major/career exploration process. After your appointment and the completion of your interest inventory, make sure that you do a follow-up appointment with a career advisor to discuss the results of your assessment and to make plans for further exploration.
You also can make an appointment with a NSSC advisor after seeing a career advisor to discuss the academic requirements for the majors that you are considering.
There are numerous websites that you can utilize to help you refine your sense of who you are. Here are several of them to get you started:
Becoming aware of what you like, your skills, preferences and personality type can assist you in making choices about majors and potential careers.