University Programs Coordinator | Google | Contracted by Zenith Talent Corporation
Good Afternoon James,
My name is Jason, and I work at Google in University Programs, and previously in career services at Stony Brook University. There is no one way to decide on a career, and you could look at it from both angles.
Should I choose a major based on the careers I want to pursue? Some basic questions to consider: What can I see myself doing for a while? What steps can I take to get there? What majors make the most sense? (e.g. Software Engineer, internships/research/hackathons, computer science/computer engineering)
Should I choose a career based on my major? Basic questions: What majors am I interested in? From these majors, what career options can they ultimately culminate in? Which career do I most see myself as? (Psychology/Pre-med, Psychiatrist/Therapist/Social Worker/Counselor)
Looking at your question from both angles can help you find out what to major in AND what career you want to go for. Even if your school does not offer a certain major, each career has a certain umbrella of majors that fit the bill. For instance, if Finance interests you, you can study Business/Finance, but Mathematics and Statistics also fit under that. There are many paths to various careers, it all depends on what you are interested in. Conducting both online research, and connecting with peers and professionals who share your interests can help you on this path to self-discovery. Use your career services at school and spend some time poking around online, and taking notes!
That being said, pursuing a major is just one one of the things to think about when thinking about a career. There are things like internships and networking that go a long way (especially internships). You can learn all you want in a classroom, but having experience in real world applications will make you a stronger candidate when you are looking for that first post-college job. This was very true for me pursuing a double major in business and psychology because in the classroom, I learned a lot about many different facets of both disciplines, but working in a specific field of my interest helped me understand what was required of me to know/do and later focused my path to where I am today.
Hope that helped, and please let me know if you have other questions!