It's almost time for high school graduations, and many students are unsure about choosing majors at colleges and universities. If your upcoming high school graduates fall into this category then they are not alone. According to a study published in John Garner’s Your College Experience, “21% of first-year students remained undecided about their major at the end of their first year”, and another “36% decided to pursue a different major.”
How do students choose majors when there are so many choices? Here are some questions and guidelines to help with career choices:
1. Remind students there are two kinds of degrees: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science. All specific areas, such as education, history, journalism, etc…, fall under Arts while Science relates to Biology, Nursing, Medical, etc… Then, each specific area is narrowed: forensics, teaching of math or English, physical therapist, marketing, cinematography, etc…
2. Are your students passionate about specific subject areas? If they enjoy reading, perhaps they could become librarians, or if they like science then chemistry might interest them. Today, there are specialized areas such as counseling, culinary arts, forestry, video gaming, and much more. Students should choose majors in specialized areas they enjoy.
3. Have students take career-related assessment quizzes. Students can use a free government website to find career choices results. These short surveys include real-life questions, such as “Do you like to work puzzles?” or “Do you like to read?” Using students' answers, career choices are listed. These are very helpful if students are unsure what careers they might be interested in pursuing. This activity is fun for students in junior high on up.
4. Encourage students to speak with Career Center counselors at their colleges of choice. Also, there are many online options offered through colleges' websites, which should end in .edu to assure they are accredited colleges or universities. Usually, any courses taken at an accredited school will transfer to other institutions. There are many for-profit universities, as well, but students should be sure to ask about accreditations and transferring credits. Some colleges may offer credits for real-life experiences if students major within their workplace fields.
For students going off to colleges, choosing majors are life-changing decisions that should be taken seriously. Students in high school should receive plenty of guidance when deliberating career choices, so lend a hand by using the tips from above.
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