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What should I do before choosing a college major?

This is part of our professionals series where we ask professionals what they think students should know

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Subject: Career question for you

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Hugo’s Answer

The thing to do before choosing a college major is to ask yourself - what am I good at? (what subjects in school you enjoyed and did well on). Another question to ask yourself is - in what setting do I do my best work? (is it in an office, out in the field, working remotely). And finally would be - What do I want from my work? - (is it monetary reward, helping others, help save the planet)
I think choosing the right college major is knowing yourself by answering the questions that I mentioned above and visualizing what you want the college degree to do for you.
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Eric’s Answer

I encouraged my kids to think of three career categories: What do I love to do? What am I good at? What can I do that will allow me to support myself in whatever lifestyle I desire? Careers that appear on all three lists are the ones to pursue.

Find professionals in those fields you can speak with, ask questions, maybe even shadow to see what a typical day is like.

And don't be afraid to cross things off your list. That is still progress.
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Maureen’s Answer

Ask everybody you meet what they majored in. Why did they choose it? Are they currently working in the field they majored in? Would they choose that major again if they had it to do over? If not, what WOULD they choose now and why? By talking to people about their own real-life experiences, you'll get so many ideas you might never have thought of otherwise.
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Bassel’s Answer

Hey there! A great way to figure out which profession you'll enjoy is by doing a bit of reading and considering a part-time job or internship. This will help you gain hands-on experience in various departments and ultimately find a career path you're truly passionate about. 😊
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Andrew’s Answer

Make a list of your top 10 interests - mine were playing video games, talking to friends, riding my 10-speed, etc. etc.

Then take that list and really think about each activity and what it takes to do well in each.

* Playing video games is a combination of hand and eye coordination, real-time learning, puzzle solving and getting recognized (high score!)
* Talking to friends requires good storytelling skills, active listening, picking up on social queues and knowing your audience.
* Riding a 10-speed requires balance, the ability to focus ahead of you as well as look behind once in a while, how to navigate and what to do when troubles arise.

One you breakdown your interests into the skills and abilities you practice, you can reassemble these components into your skills profile. Then look at professions that require these skills. Don't worry if you are missing a few. You can learn those along the way. The important thing is to align your natural talents and interests to the major you are interested in pursuing.

I graduated college with a Degree in Business Administration (a general degree) and with that degree I have worked in accounting and finance (puzzle-solving), marketing and communications (storytelling), operations (focus on future and looking behind) as well as being a project manager (all of the above and more). You can do anything as long as you use your natural talents. Good luck!
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Christina’s Answer

Hi,
What I did was look at what interested me. I also did extensive research as to how I could grow my love for my interests. For example, I loved investigating, problem solving and working under pressure. I looked into FBI, Police, private investigator... This pushed me into Criminal Justice. I looked at salaries, what are next steps when I am looking to get promoted (more schooling, certificates, particular qualifications), and what I my career could look like if I continued to the top of my profession. The best advise I could give is don't worry if you choose a major and end up doing something completely different. Trust it happens more often do you think. With my degrees in security and criminal justice I ended up in safety compliance.
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Vamshee’s Answer

Consider the following things to choose the career/major in general. Write down what's important for you in life in next 5-10 yrs..

Your Passion and interests/Skills
Your Personality
Carrer Growth and Stability
Salary / grow richer.
Cost of Education and training
Your Personal Values and Goals

...also you can try the following tool to guide you choose the career path

Explore your interests, envision your future. Use the me3 tool i came across below developed by ASU.

me3® is a simple interactive tool that helps you find a career that fits your interests. me3 guides you through a series of visual choices that reflect your levels of interest in data, things, people and ideas.

https://me3.careers/asu/onboarding/education


Hope this helps!

Good luck for all your future endeavors
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