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What should I do if I want to change my major during college?

#career #majors

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Snehaa’s Answer

Hi Alli,

If you want to change your major, you can follow the steps below.

Step 1: Choosing your new major
So, you decided you definitely want to change your major. Woohoo! The first step is to try to choose a new major, if you haven’t already. If you’re not entirely sure which major to pick, it’s time to get back to basics—things like working backwards from careers that interest you, thinking about your favorite activities, acknowledging your skills, talking to friends and professors in different departments, and even auditing a class or joining a related campus club to get a sense of what the program entails. There are a lot of interesting ways to find your college major that you wouldn't expect. You can also use your college’s career counseling center and career assessment tests to help you choose.

Step 2: Meeting with your academic advisor
Now it’s time to consult your academic advisor. They are your biggest ally in figuring out everything you need to do and all the requirements you need to meet to switch majors. They’re also used to this process, so they can answer your questions and guide you through it. It would be great to consult an advisor from your intended major, but if you’re still not sure about what your new major will be, then you can just visit your current academic advisor.

Step 3: Reviewing the academic requirements
Next you need to make sure you meet the requirements for admission to your new major department, college, or school within the university. At many colleges, you’ll need to meet the same admission requirements as outside students who are seeking acceptance into the school. That means it’s possible that you may not be admitted to your new major—even though you’re already a student at the college—if your academic stats aren’t up to snuff. If that’s the case, you can discuss your options (like taking another semester or year to bring up your grades or earn pre-reqs) with your academic advisor.

Step 4: Submitting all your paperwork
The final step is to submit the paperwork requesting a major change. The process to change your major will differ from college to college, but your application will probably need to be approved by the department chair and college dean of your new major. Again, your academic advisor will let you know how this process goes. (See? Told you they were your biggest ally!)


Hope you find this helpful.
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Ken’s Answer

If you want to select or change your major in college, you want to know yourself better to be sure that you are entering into a field which matches with your personality traits and then talk to people working in that area to see the inside of the career area to learn what they do, how they got there, and how you feel about it and get their advice and suggestions,


Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
• It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
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