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What are creative ways to have high school students exposed to college majors?

I think it's difficult to figure out what major you want to select for college when you have little to none exposure to those majors. I'm unsure of what I want to do in life.
#career-plan development # in high school

Thank you comment icon Hi Brandon, this is a great question. One thing that really helps with getting exposed to college majors is to do your research! Whether it be on Youtube or by asking someone that you know in person about their major. You can ask people if they would allow you to shadow them or if they would offer you an internship in order to get authentic, hands-on experience. If you don't know someone personally of a certain major, that's what CareerVillage is for! I hope this helps and I wish you the best! Mireia

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Danielle’s Answer

Hi Brandon,

A common misconception is that you have to have it all figured out and make that choice long before you get to college. Not true! If you don't know, that's OK. I always suggest to my college freshmen "take one of everything, you'll figure it out in the first couple terms, and then change your mind at the beginning of junior year" =). The best way to "get exposed" is to buckle down and do some heavy research. Follow the steps below.

Danielle recommends the following next steps:

Browse https://www.onetonline.org/, there are tons of careers that people don't know exist! There is a lot of details in there about what the day to day is like, what kinds of skills you would need. Think about the classes you like now, what is interesting? Don't pick actual jobs you'd like to do, maybe a field, or a "theme" of a few positions that require some transferable skills.
Pick 3-5 colleges you might be interested in, to start. Go to their main page and select "prospective students", a lot of them will talk about different majors or programs. Some universities are large enough that you'll have to apply to a specific school within them. That's where the "fields of interest, or transferable skills" comes into play. Pick a couple programs you think might be something you like, and then you can read up on them in the department's website. You can even go into the university's home page and do a general search for "courses". You can search by major and see what sorts of classes are required, are the topics interesting? Something you might enjoy? Here's an example of what one of those search platforms look like: https://lsa.umich.edu/cg/ You can flat out call that department and schedule a visit with one of their academic advisors. Talk about that specific major! It's good to do that in the "off season". The middle of the term/semester, like early October, or early Feb, is generally the least busy for Departmental Academic Administrative Offices. The Summer is slower for them too.
If you see a couple schools that have at least 2-3 programs that are "cool", then there is another step. Start looking at external publications and ratings for those schools. What are they KNOWN for? Are the programs you're interested in something your university is particularly prestigious/strong. Caution- popular and prestigious universities are highly sought after, but I always warn to focus more on the "best fit" school/major. It's a higher predictor of success both in and post college. Look at reputable sites for the "best" ratings. Examples: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities https://www.princetonreview.com/college-education?ceid=nav
This information is a little tougher to find, but a lot of times universities collect statistics on their alumni. What do the majority of people from that university do? What about those from the programs/schools you're interested in? Do some of them do what you found interesting on O*Net?
Unrelated to this course of action but still equally important-once you've narrowed down schools take every opportunity to "visit" or participate in high school outreach programs. Inquire with the admissions office about campus visit days. Sometimes universities have programs where a college student will "host" a high school student. The student will come to campus and stay the night with the college student, see things from the student's perspective. That student could talk with you about their major, their friends' majors, give you a tour of that department, etc.
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Maxim’s Answer

Hi Brandon,

There are too many possibilities in life. You're never going to be able to explore them all. Hopefully by now you have some idea of who you are and who you want to be, as a person, not as a profession. The key is to figure out how to take who you are, who you want to be, and express it in the major of your choice. To do that, research and shadowing and all of the stuff the ladies mention will be helpful.

Best wishes on your journey,
Maxim
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