Steps to take when you are undeclared
If you are an undeclared major, you might start feeling the tension to declare something, which only makes things worse with the added pressure from advisors and your parents. Just take a deep breath and follow these three steps that will help you get your mind on the right track to find something that you are passionate about and can make a career out of.
Take personality tests
Personality tests can be used for much more than finding which character you match up with in a sitcom. Highly credible personality tests, such as Meyer Briggs, are great for starting your career and major search. After taking the test, you will receive results that you can use to get ideas of jobs you would be good at. There are several free personality tests online that even give you results of careers to look into right after the test, or you could always search in a browser your results followed by “careers.”
Your school’s career center has resources
Check out yours schools career center or library, as they usually have access to career inventory assessments similar to the personality tests. They may also have catalogs with each major and a prompt “What Can I do with a major in ______” that gives ideas of available options if you had a degree in that field. It is reassuring to see that if you declare a major in something, you are not stuck in one career path; you can explore options that you may have not even known existed.
After you have taken a few assessments, and narrowed your career options into a few, do some further personal research. Get connected with a professional in that field, either through a family friend connection or through your school’s advisement center. Find someone who has been in the field that you are interested in and invite them to lunch or coffee with you. Talking with someone who’s in that field allows you to see if you would also be successful in that field. Ask them what they majored in, what they like about their job, what they don’t like about their job. Professionals like to help students become successful, and are probably more than happy to chat with you to make sure it’s something you would enjoy. If it’s something you think you can see yourself doing, then look into declaring a major in that area.
Know that just because you declare a major doesn’t mean you are permanently tied to that one area forever. There are a lot of professionals doing things that are only loosely linked or even completely unrelated to what they studied in college. To some employers, just showing that you graduated with a degree (any degree) is great because the skills you learn in college, regardless of you degree (time management, prioritizing, dealing with stress, etc.) are beneficial in just about any job. However, if you’re not sure which direction to go, taking personality tests, scoping out the resources available on campus, and meeting with someone in a field you’re considering, can help you explore all your options and open your eyes to opportunities you hadn’t even considered.
Pearson Students, if you are a declared major, how did you discover that you were interested in that area? If you are undeclared, what steps are you taking to find out what you’re passionate about?
Jessica is a junior at Missouri State University majoring in Marketing with a minor in International Management. She will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree in December 2016, and is accepted to an accelerated Masters of Business Administration program to complete her MBA the following year. Jessica is member of Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society, Ad Club, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Fraternity.