With course registration upon us, many students are turning their attention to the topic of majors. Some have declared a major but may be reconsidering it, and others have explored different topical areas by taking a diverse array of classes but still aren’t sure which major is right for them. So at a University that offers over 100 majors (and even more in minors), how do you find your academic fit?
The University of Vermont Career Services website has some good tools for the exploration, but these are only one part of your toolkit. There’s a whole community of resources available to you as you make this decision, and it’s important that you gather as much information as you need to make your choice comfortably before settling. Here are some ideas:
Set-up meetings with faculty and student services staff to talk more about particular major(s) of interest
Continue taking classes in subject areas that excite you
Talk to a career counselor during Drop-In Hours:
-Mondays – Thursdays, 1:00 – 4:00 pm (L/L E-140)
-Tuesdays, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm (Rosa Parks Room, Davis Center)
It’s important to enjoy the process of choosing a major. It can be stressful at times, but remember that college is a great time for exploration. As Joseph Campbell once said, “The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty ‘yes’ to your adventure.”
In the movie Forrest Gump (1994), Forrest befriends Bubba, a soldier with a passion for shrimp. In a scene from the movie, Bubba explains the many ways shrimp can be prepared:
Just like the many options that exist for preparing shrimp, there is a wide array of possibilities for college majors. You will invest much of your time and energy into the major of your choice, so it should be something that excites you. Additionally, you probably want to know that the major you choose will lead to gainful employment that keeps you satisfied beyond your years in the classroom.
You should feel empowered to study what you love, in spite of the myths that exist that may make it scary to do this:
Myth: You’ll never get the job you want unless you pick the “right” major. Truth: Students across all academic disciplines land exciting jobs every day!
Myth: Everyone in my life will disown me if I choose the “wrong” major. Truth: While your choice of major may prove to be shocking to others in your life at first, you will find encouragement and support from others throughout your process.
It is important to explore your options. UVM has a very rich, diverse curriculum and faculty and staff who are here to support your learning. You can also research possible majors and career outcomes by using the resources offered by Career Services, and outside resources (such as MyMajors.com). You should gather as much information as you need to make your decision comfortably and confidently.
If you are a current UVM student and want to talk more about choosing a major, please come to drop-in hours at Career Services, L/L E-140, Monday- Thursday from 1-4, or at the Davis Center on Tuesdays from 11-1, in Rosa Parks Place.
Deciding on your major is definitely an important decision. It is also a decision that you do not have to make entirely on your own. There are many resources around you including faculty, your faculty advisor, academic advisors in the Dean’s Office of your college (Arts & Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, etc.), your friends and family, and of course Career Services!
Here are some good questions to ask yourself when you’re considering a major:
Does the subject matter sincerely interest me?
What have I enjoyed about the classes I have taken in this major so far?
When I look at course descriptions of upper level classes in this major, am I excited and intrigued?
Yes, choosing a major is a big decision, but it is not a decision that absolutely defines the rest of your life or career choices. It is a choice that often impacts your job or career choices, but it is not the only thing that defines you. Please come talk with us at Career Services about choosing a major as well as exploring internships, part time jobs or summer jobs related to different majors.