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How were you able to narrow down your choice of major?

As an upcoming high school sophomore, I know I still have time to make a decision but any advice would be greatly appreciated. There's just so many possibilities and opportunities to explore and I have so many things that I am interested in, I just don't know where to start. #high-school #college #choosing-a-major #major


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Yamile’s Answer

It is so great that you are thinking about this as a sophomore in high school because it gives you an opportunity to participate in programs some companies/universities offer. I agree with Kim, you should definitely make a list of things you like and don't like. For me, I always knew I wanted to be a business woman but I wasn't sure what area to specialize in (like accounting, finance, etc). I participated in PwC's Accounting Careers <span style="color: rgb(84, 84, 84);">Leadership Institute program the summer going into my senior year of high school at Bryant University. It was about a week long program that taught us what life was like as an accountant and they kept us very occupied so I really enjoyed my time there. That program helped me choose accounting as my major and I also truly feel it helped me land an internship at PwC this summer. </span>

If you're thinking of a STEM major a program you could look into is Young Scholar's Program at Northeastern for rising seniors in high school. I bet there are many other programs it's just a matter of researching. Some high school students even have internships because some internships are now not only offered to college students.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope this helps!



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Kim’s Answer

Hi John!

I know this sounds a bit old fashioned, but I'd make a list of all the things you are interested in, and the ones you definitely are not! Then, one by one, write down what it is about that field that interests you. And just as important, what does NOT interest you, and why! I think at some point you might see a common thread emerge. What do they all have in common? Helping people, getting to really use your brain to solve problems or make discoveries, being at the center of attention, etc.


First try narrowing it down to broad fields: science, literature, public speaking (not really a subject, but if you see yourself on a speaking circuit, that's important!), etc. Then try to get a little more specific.


What is really neat, is, many degrees will open a broad range of doors for you. They are transferable. Obviously, accounting won't get you into biology, so you do have to narrow it down a little! Once you have a general direction, start researching the careers. You can post questions here, for example: "what are the best and worst things about being a microbiologist?" and you will get responses. Also look at the careeronestop website


It's important to dig down into what these careers really do, rather than just what the public perception is. Some of us are stuck doing a lot of paperwork that, at least to us, does not seem to be the least bit related to the job that we thought we were getting! Others totally understand the importance of doing all that paperwork, and enjoy it!


It's really just a giant research project! (and I like to compare it to buying a house - it is easier to figure out what you don't want than what you do want, and you just sort of narrow it down from there!)


Hope this helps!

Kim


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Rachael’s Answer

Hi John,

I was able to do so utilizing my network. I would highly suggest you consider your interests and skills, brainstorm what you think you might have interest in, conduct research into those fields, and take action. By action I mean utilize your network to interview, shadow, and perhaps intern within the field. This will give you a first-hand perspective into what that career will actually entail.

Best of luck.

Rachael recommends the following next steps:

Interview a professional within your field of interest to get perspective into what it's like
Shadow a professional within your field of interest to witness the day to day
Intern at a company within your field of interest to experience what it would be like

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Judy’s Answer

Think about possible careers you may be interested in then google types of majors that may be helpful. Try to keep your major broad if you’re not sure like math or chemistry instead of narrower choice like cosmetic science. Keeping yoir major broad will give you more options later.

Judy recommends the following next steps:

Try this website. Bigfuture.collegeboard.org

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Rachael’s Answer

Hi John,

Great question! I would highly recommend taking a career assessment to determine which fields might possibly suit you. You know yourself best so take the results with a grain of salt. If you truly don't think you'd be interested in pursuing one of the results, then don't include it! I would suggest finding someone within the field to inquiry with/interview in order to get a first-hand perspective of what that line of work is like. You start with you network (family, friends, relatives, etc.). If someone in your network in not within the field of interest, perhaps someone in their network is. If you are interested after speaking with them I would suggest you ask to shadow within that field in order to get an idea of the day to day is like. A major can lead to many different career paths, I would suggest you complete as many different internships as possible throughout your college career to get insight into each to determine which you like most.

Best of luck.

Rachael recommends the following next steps:

Take career assessment
Utilize your network to find professional in the field
Inquiry with a professional in the field
Shadow a professional in the field
Intern a at a company pertaining to major of choice

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