Are you still undecided about your major? Here’s the deal…you MUST pick a major if you ever want to graduate from college! Most four-year colleges advise that you choose your major by the end of sophomore year to prevent too much wasted time and money on classes that don’t ultimately count toward graduation.

How to get started

Think of a major like a career. At the college stage, steer yourself into a broad career field rather than a specific occupation (think “health sciences” instead of “endocrinologist”). You’ll likely encounter professors who will impact the specifics of your future occupation. You may even choose to continue your education in a similar or completely different field after you graduate.

Consider these two methods when considering a major:

1. The more “touchy-feely” way

Ask yourself:

  • Which school subjects and activities do I enjoy?
  • What am I good at (think of activities and skills, not just subject areas)?
  • Who do I admire professionally and why?

Next, explore career resources such as Nebraska Career Education’s Career Model  or Career Cruising (requires a Career Cruising account, which we can set up for you for free at an EducationQuest office).  In addition, set up interviews with those in careers that interest you.

2. The more “scientific” way

The “Big Three” in career assessment are interests, skills and values; also known as what you like to do, what you’re good at, and what’s important to you. Take some career assessments and look for overlap among the results. Wouldn’t it be nice to find a job you like, that you’re good at and that’s meaningful, and that’s important to you? John Holland, a founding father of interests-based career searching (called Holland Codes), thought so.

See our Exploring Careers section for links to career assessment tools that may be helpful.

For a less you-centric and more economic climate-centric approach, also consider searching by Job Outlook or Projected Growth, and don’t forget to consider your current or future (desired) geography.

Hopefully, by taking some active, dedicated time to explore yourself and the world around you, you’ll be better prepared for all those “What are you going to do with your life” questions everyone keeps asking.