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How did you find what you wanted to do in college or how did you find the major you wanted to do when you went to college?

I just want to know the right way to find my major and from different people perspective on how they chose there major and career path.

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Mackenzie’s Answer

Hi! This is a great question. When I started college, all I knew was I wanted to help others, but I was not exactly sure how. I started out with a Major in Psychology, but I did not want to be a therapist, psychiatrist, etc. because I knew I would not be able to disconnect from work. I respect those who are able to disconnect in this type of field, but I knew that would not be me. That being said, I still loved helping others, and I still wanted my career to focus on helping others without being a therapist or psychiatrist. At the end of my Freshman year of college, I attended an informational session put on by my university's Psychology Club. The informational session was for my university's Human Resources (HR) program. After learning more about HR, I immediately thought, "I can help people at work? Awesome!" I was able to add an additional major in Human Resources, and I graduated with my Bachelor's in Psychology and Human Resources.

Fast forward to now, my career is in HR and I love it. My biggest takeaway is it is so important to attend informational sessions, career fairs, etc. put on by your high school or university, if you are able to/if they are available. What you learn from these events could alter your perspective regarding what you want to do.

I feel fortunate that I was able to find a career I love early in my time at university. However, I also recognize that it is 100% normal to change your mind and pivot. Be open to new opportunities, and don't beat yourself up if you go from loving a career to hating it. You're never stuck, and there is always something else out there.

Thank you!
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Larisa’s Answer

Great question - all of us are faced with this decision sooner or later and sometimes several times in life! While BS Degree is still a requirement for most Job Postings, it is rather used as an indicator of applicant's ability to pursue a steady endeavor, navigate through complex social environment, follow on specific commitments, pursue long time goals, demonstrate critical thinking ability, etc. Keep in mind, whatever you learn during your college years will probably become mostly irrelevant in ~20 years after your graduation - it's the transferrable skills, adaptability, and your ability to grasp new concepts / learn quickly that would be most meaningful for your long-term career. Prepare for the lifetime of learning :)

I have BS/MS in Linguistics, MBA in Finance & Marketing and for the last ~15 years I built a successful career in Technology Risk & Controls working for a number of major US Banks.
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Kathleen’s Answer

Finding the major that's right for you is an adventure. It's important to find something you enjoy - learning is a life-long process, and it should make you happy!
There are many questions you can ask to help guide you on your search. What do you enjoy doing, and what careers/ professions are associated with the things you like to do? Are you a people person - do you want a career that involves meeting with others on a regular basis? Are you interested in a 'helping profession', where you'll be providing advice and guidance to others? Do you prefer to work with numbers or formulae? Do you want to work outdoors or in the field, or are you more comfortable in an office environment?
You're the best qualified to answer these questions, and they can help narrow your search.
Once you have a general idea, think about all the ways that you can expand your career options. I began with a double major in psychology and sociology, and I am very glad I have that solid foundation behind me. Along the way, though, I thought about how to apply the learnings that I was acquiring in a more 'practical' way. I gravitated towards business and, more specifically, Marketing, which is really all about helping guide customer choice by highlighting the benefits associated with the products and services you represent. It's been an ongoing journey, and I've enjoyed each step along the way.
Don't be afraid to explore - there really are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers.
Listen to advice from others but - most importantly - listen to yourself! You are the one best equipped to identify the things that will make you happy. Go for it!
Good luck, and God bless!
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Liza’s Answer

Hi Travis! For me, I mainly thought about what classes I loved in high school the most and whether I thought I could focus on that subject for a long time. In high school, I took advanced math classes and was on my school's math team, so it felt like the right decision to major in math. I think you should look for patterns in your behaviors and interests and try and capitalize off of those with your major. Another factor to take into account is how in demand your major is for jobs. With some majors, it might be easier for you to find jobs because they are careers that are always in demand. This factor should not be the sole factor, however, because in my opinion, your interests are more important. I also think doing a google search for an aptitude test could help with opening your eyes to majors/careers that you might not have known about or known you would be good at. One comforting fact is that in college, you do not have to be tied to one major. I was initially a business major, but after my first semester, I switched to applied math because I thought it would be more interesting. You can also minor in other interests you have if you feel your major is not enough. For example, if you are interested in art, maybe you can get an art history minor or a digital design minor. Do not let the concept of a major or minor constrict, but rather let it help you to improve any skills you have and acquire new skills. Hope this helps!
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Sachi’s Answer

It may help to look at the government website with jobs, their descriptions, average salaries, and the growth of that industry. Reading through this may help expose you to different jobs that are out there, and you can see which ones you like.
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Tyler’s Answer

Hey Travis, a technique I often employ when I'm trying to uncover the truth about a subject is to question myself repeatedly, usually three to five times. This method was particularly useful when I was preparing for college applications. Initially, I thought I wanted to pursue a career in dentistry because I was genuinely interested in maintaining a healthy smile and good oral hygiene. However, I soon realized that my passion for dentistry wasn't as strong as my interest in finance.

I recall a conversation in middle school where a friend expressed his desire to become an accountant. I was taken aback, wondering why anyone would choose to deal with mathematics for their entire life. But, upon self-reflection, I began to consider my own interests. What activities did I enjoy in my free time? What subjects did I want to delve deeper into, even if I didn't fully understand them? What childhood habits have persisted into my adult life? I realized that I was often captivated by the financial analysts on CNBC, discussing numbers and market trends against a backdrop of fluctuating red and green figures. Even though I didn't fully comprehend the discussions, I found myself drawn to them. I also remembered my childhood habit of saving money, stashing it away in safes, drawers, and banks.

Gradually, I came to the realization that finance was my true interest. I started questioning myself, trying to understand why I was drawn to this field and what my purpose could be within it. I'm still on this journey of discovery, but as of now, I'm certain that finance is where I want to be.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Travis,

Take a step back with me to 1972, when I was a junior in high school. Our physics teacher introduced us to computer programming through the use of computer cards, which we filled out using a soft HB pencil. This marked the beginning of my journey into the world of computer programming.

Fast forward to 1974, a year marked by the tragic loss of my uncle at the young age of 38 due to a severe heart attack. This event sparked my interest in nutrition and I began studying it in 1976. Coincidentally, my uncle's former supervisor, Professor Colin Masters, started lecturing in biochemistry at our new university and I had the privilege of studying under his guidance.

In 1985, my family suffered another loss when my father, like his brother, passed away from a heart attack at the age of 50. This further fueled my passion for nutrition and the following year, I began studying to become a dietitian.

By 1994, I had found a way to merge my two passions - computer programming and nutrition. I developed a nutrition education software called DIET WIZARD.

You can explore this software on my YouTube channel. Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/user/yimi90125/videos

Do take a look.

May God bless you,

JC.
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Carolina’s Answer

Hey! For me, the easiest way I found to figure this out was by starting to filter all my options. I decided first I wanted to go for something related to arts and production. I found out schools that had that and looked directly at their majors, and some caught my eye. Then, I searched about those majors and decided to go with Digital Cinema and Filmmaking! But during the course, I realized my main goal was to work specifically with animation. So that’s my tip for you, search directly in colleges, choose one, see the courses you’ll need to take, and go for it. If you end up changing your path a little during it that’s completely okay as well.
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Nikolaos’s Answer

Hi Travis,

I remember that I started exploring potential majors early in high school by discussing my interests with mentors and professors who guided me in identifying my strengths and passions. They helped me by asking thought-provoking questions like What subjects do I find most engaging? What activities make me lose track of time? What kind of impact do I want to make in the world? These conversations really helped me to understand better where my true interests lie.

As I was exploring my options, I also considered practical aspects like job prospects, future trends in various fields, and the skills I wanted to develop. I took advantage of opportunities such as attending career fairs to gain real-world exposure and insights into different industries.

Ultimately, choosing a major was a blend of introspection, mentorship, and practical exploration. It was about aligning my passions with my strengths and the opportunities available in the world. Remember, it's okay if your path isn't 100% clear. Exploration and self-discovery are part of the journey. The key is to stay open-minded, embrace new experiences, and trust yourself to make decisions that resonate with your goals, values and aspirations.

The future is bright! Best of luck!

Best regards,
Nikolas
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. Many students have similar question. Different college have strength on different subjects. You may need to find out what careers you have interest. The relevant subjects are the major and minor you can consider.
Below are my suggestions :
1. Think about your interest, e.g. your hobbies, favourite subjects, etc. and identify the related careers
E.g. If you like music, would you like to be a musician, singer, musical artist, music composer, music producer, etc.
If you have interest in a maths, would you like to be an accountant, engineer, banker, financial analyst, maths teacher, etc.
2. Find out more on these careers and determine what you have interest
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers. Seek guidance from your mentor, school career counsellor, your parents, etc.
4. Shortlist 1-2 careers you would like to pursue. The relevant subjects are the major and minor you can consider.
5. Explore the colleges reviews on these subjects and find out the entry criteria
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
May Almighty God bless you!
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Himani’s Answer

Hello Travis,

I was unsure about my future career path until the time came to apply for colleges. To make your journey smoother, try identifying something you're truly passionate about and can envision yourself doing as a profession. Once you figure this out, look for universities that align with your interests. This strategy will simplify your life significantly.
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Idelisa’s Answer

Choosing a college can seem daunting, especially when you're on the brink of graduating from high school and excited to explore the world.

Here are some enhanced pointers to guide you in making the right choice:

1. Start by researching potential colleges. Consider their locations - do you want to be close to home or are you looking for an adventure far away?
2. Once you've shortlisted some colleges, delve into the variety of majors they offer. Identify the commonalities and differences, and see what resonates with your interests.
3. Reflect on your academic strengths. Are you a whiz at science, math, art, or literature? Your strengths might guide you towards a suitable major.
4. Utilize online career assessments. These tools can provide valuable insights into what career paths might suit you best.
5. Contemplate what brings you joy. What are your hobbies? These could potentially turn into a fulfilling career.
6. Engage in conversations with individuals who are already pursuing the major that has caught your eye. Professors from your prospective colleges can also provide useful insights.
7. Discuss the financial aspect with your family. They might have valuable advice about career opportunities and the financial implications of your choice.
8. Consider the future prospects of your chosen field. Is it a growing industry? What kind of job opportunities can you expect?

I hope these tips prove useful! Wishing you all the best on your journey.
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Kate’s Answer

Hello, and I appreciate your question. When I embarked on my college journey, I had a clear vision of what I wanted to pursue, influenced by my strengths that I had cultivated over my school years. However, I soon discovered that while teaching had many aspects that I adored, it wasn't quite the right fit for me.

While still in college, I was fortunate enough to secure a position at Citi. This opportunity paved the way for my career, where even today, I apply the principles I learned from teaching. I continually work with people, helping them comprehend changes in policy, regulations, and process enhancements.

As you consider college, I encourage you to take a leap of faith and explore subjects that could potentially equip you with skills for future roles. One invaluable lesson I've gleaned from my 19-year journey is that all skills are transferable and can be applied in various contexts.

Thank you,

Kate
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Adrian’s Answer

Hello Travis! My best advice is to follow a career path involving something you are extremely passionate about or have a skill that you excel in. For example: If you really love Video Games (Like me) - You may want to explore all the different career options within Video Games - Whether it is game design, voice acting, marketing, graphic design, animation, etc. The alternative is finding a career that you may not necessarily love or be passionate about but if you have a particular skill you excel at - you can absolutely make a career out of it. For me it was Customer Service/Numbers so I got a job at a bank when I was 18 years old - and then worked me way to several promotions finally landing me in the job I have now. I did not need a college degree for this particular career - and instead obtained a College Degree in something I was passionate about (Singing). Best of luck in your future endeavors and don't be afraid to make mistakes or change your mind! Many jobs nowadays do not require college degrees that still provide amazing pay and benefits so do not feel limited by whatever degree you decide to pursue.

Adrian recommends the following next steps:

Research the industry you are passionate about to explore different career options
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Thomas’s Answer

I was a bit of an outcast in school. In Elementary and Middle School, my school was tiny- my 8th grade graduating class was 24 people. Out of all those people I had maybe one or two real friends. As soon as I got to high school, I found my people- Musicians. When I was in the choir room, or hanging out with musicians I felt at home and like I belonged. So what if someone was better at one thing than I was? I made up for it with something else. I was able to contribute just as much as I was able to learn. I was constantly making music on my phone (because my parents didn't want me to have two computers and my school supplied a Chromebook to use for school related work). I would go to music camp during the summer and meet even more people and even when there was a lot of work or things were really really stressful, I still felt like I belonged and was necessary for the success of the group.

Therefore, it felt only natural for me to continue music as a career. If I felt like music was the only area I belonged in then music is where I should be. As for my major of audio production and music business, I chose that because of my after school activities of making music on my phone. I wanted to learn how to do it the professional way and learn everything there was to learn about recording, mixing, and the business side of the music industry. Now, 8 years later (4 since I graduated high school) and basically every single gratifying, cool, fun, and exciting thing I've done has to do with music. If I'm going to be doing all this music writing and mixing and polishing, why not make money with it? So that's why I'm a music producer, audio engineer, songwriter, composer, and A&R/ music consultant.

Hope this helps!
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Miguel Angel’s Answer

That is what College is all about: About finding your path. Most of us when we went to college had an inclination towards something, but it did not always become a career path. There are multitudes of students that start in a path like engineering, theatre or medicine just to find out that is not their calling. Ask older people if they ever thought when they were in college if they would finish where they are today. You will be surprised by the answers. My suggestion is the following: If you have met someone that does for a living something you find exciting, ask them how they got there. Maybe you want to stick to liberal arts and build a solid base of knowledge in a multitude of subjects, including a language, College is just a building block in the school of life.
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