2 answers

What's the best course of action to narrow down my selection on degree choices, or do you wait until your sophomore year before deciding?

Asked Rock Island, Illinois

Hoping it will all fall in place by sophomore year. #college-major

2 answers

Beate’s Answer


Great Question. I suggest learning about your own likes and dislikes, skills and challenges to help you narrow the broad areas of your interest early. You could start by taking an interest inventory quiz. It's simple and free and can help trigger your curiosity. I still take these every few years myself, just to see what might have changed for me and if I may want to change careers. Then you can talk to people around you with jobs you are curious about and find interesting. It's like interviewing people about their job and most people are happy to share about what they do.  You can also do some research online based on your interest inventory to find out what degrees are required for different careers. After you follow that path a little while you will see some choices emerge. It will help you narrow it down a little and also give you more options to maybe find a summer internship somewhere that will give you real experience in a career field. It's ok to change your mind as well, but you may want to start this journey early to give you time to explore. And have fun doing it :-)

Beate recommends the following next steps:

  • Interest Inventory Quiz. Check out this list of self assessment quizzes. I recommend starting with I Seek and also Holland, but you can go through them all and learn about yourself. https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/best-free-career-assessment-tools
  • Conduct Informational Interviews with people in careers or industries of interest. Check out this Site for how to conduct these interviews and what questions to possibly ask. It's great practice, just give it a try and you will get more comfortable with this. https://www.livecareer.com/career/advice/interview/information-interview
  • Make a list of top 10 careers of interest and start identifying what is required for entry level and which schools offer a program.

Shawn’s Answer

Updated Dallas, Texas

I would certainly look at your interest and also what jobs will your degree lead to.  One of the things you do not want to happen is that you get a degree and you are unable to find a job in that area.  You could always look at several degree choices and see if there are classes that fit them.  You could take those your first year and then decide what direction you want to go in.  Best wishes!