Start on the right path from first year
A major is an area of study that should suit your interests and career aspirations. The majors you choose don't necessarily set the career path for the rest of your life; they are merely your starting point.
Some students arrive at university already knowing exactly which majors to choose and career paths to follow, others have preferences but want to explore other options while a majority of students have no idea at all. No matter which of these categories you fall into it's recommended that you go through the following steps to ensure that your ultimate decision is a well-informed one. Just remember not to panic and be hard on yourself if the choice you make appears to be the wrong one down the road.
There are possibilities to change majors or add other majors, do post graduate study, or look for graduate position outside of your specialisation - after all you still have a bachelor's degree!
Here are the steps to help guide you through the decision making process:
- Look at units of study required for the different majors and read unit descriptions - do not just read the unit title! Is this an area of interest to you, and one you feel you have an aptitude for?
- Have a good, honest introspective look at yourself: your skills, interests, motivations, strengths, weaknesses, values and goals (long and short term). The resulting assessment is by no means a complete sum of what or who you are, but it allows you to help clarify what you might do in the future. It will help you develop a match between self and occupation. For example, if you enjoy, and have an aptitude for working with figures and problem-solving, you may want to consider accounting. If you feel you communicate well with people, have an interest in human behaviour and have sales experience, marketing might be an area to explore.
- Research and gain knowledge of opportunities connected to the major. This will include researching job profiles and titles, requirements, salaries, current labour market information, types of organisations, employers and professional associations linked to the specialised areas.
Try to secure related work experience to get a feel for the kinds of jobs available with different majors, or within a major. This might be achieved through part-time work, an internship, voluntary work or work shadowing.
- Decision making! - now that you are much more self and opportunity aware, you're hopefully able to make links between what you want and what occupations/employers offer and what you have to offer and what occupations/employers require. Perform an honest reality check of your options. If you need further assistance with choosing majors make an appointment to see a career counsellor at Deakin Careers and Employment.