Choosing a Major – A Self Reflective Process: Matching a Career With Who You Are (Not the Other Way Around)

One of the most challenging tasks at any point in life is deciding what you truly want from the many options life presents. Choosing a career path is among the most consequential of these decisions. The goal is to find one that is attainable and reflects who you are.

It’s a self-reflective process that does not come naturally to everyone. People who act decisively in every other phase of life may freeze when making life choices for themselves.

Choosing the right career path also involves selecting a college major. Touro University Worldwide has a long history of successfully helping students navigate these difficult decisions. Students enrolling in one of TUW’S many online degree programs enjoy individualized support in choosing the best major to match their career goals. 

Why Choosing a Major Is Difficult

Feeling that “it’s for the rest of your life” can needlessly add stress to choosing a major. For most, long past are the days of a single academic and career path. Most people change employers every four years, on average, often due to a career change. 

Nearly half of the people canvassed in a recent Indeed survey report making a “dramatic career shift.” For example, moving from marketing to engineering or teaching to working in business and finance.

Clearly, choosing a college major and an initial career path does not close the door on future changes, relieving that “now or never” pressure. Nonetheless, statistics show that people regret making the “wrong choice.”  A recent survey of college graduates found that 61 percent said they would change their major if they could go back.

However, perhaps the most interesting finding in that survey is that 26 percent would change majors to pursue their passion.

Tips For Choosing the Right Career Path

When choosing a career path, it’s essential to develop a solid decision-making process. The first step is understanding that a decision now doesn’t preclude a change of mind later. From that point, consider some of the following.

What Are Your Strengths and Skills?

List your strengths, skills, and interests. Be honest with yourself. There are times when it takes a third party “to remind us of the talents and skills we take for granted,” according to Forbes.

To help you focus on listing your strengths, it can prove helpful to take a college major quiz.

How Do You Want To Live?

Look down the road to your future in five, 10, and 20 years. What type of lifestyle do you want? What does your workday look like? The answers can include having a large nest egg, starting a  business, teaching young children, or learning to help people achieve better mental health. Allow yourself to dream. 

Shadow Professionals

Work with your school or people you know to find opportunities shadowing a professional or working in an internship position. Internships and shadowing professionals are great ways to get a feel of a profession. You may fall in love with it, or you may find it isn’t for you after all. Either way, it’s a valuable experience.

Research Salaries and Job Growth

Many workers fear that their job will no longer exist a decade from now. A good tool for searching about future salaries and projected job growth (or lack thereof) is the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Find the Right Degree Program

Once you’ve determined what career interests you, it’s time to choose the best degree program to achieve your goal. Consider quality online degree programs that allow you the flexibility to study from home and still work full time.

TUW Supports Students in Choosing a Career

The TUW Student Support Center connects students with resources to help guide their career and college major decisions. Student support specialists work with online students throughout their academic journey, keeping them on track to earn their degrees. 

TUW offers many degree program options, no matter where they are on their educational journey. They range from an associate’s degree in general studies to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate programs. All are offered 100% online and geared for working adults with professional and personal responsibilities.

Deciding what you want out of life and the career you want to pursue are serious questions that require self-reflection and support to answer. From enrollment to graduation, you’ll get the guidance and resources you need to take the next, best step in your career.

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