Social Science Career ServicesWestern Social Science

Choosing A Program

choosing a program

What program/major should I choose to study?

When tasked with choosing a major, it is not uncommon to feel like you are making a decision that will shape the rest of your life. It is no wonder this decision sends so many students directly into panic mode. While some student have always know what they want to do and can easily select a program/major to support their academic and career pursuits, may others find themselves feeling overwhelmed with their indecision.

Most programs prepare you for a variety of careers. Combining the skills you’ll learn in your program with others you’ll gain from work, internship and other activities, you’ll have the ability to move in a variety of directions. It is true that there are fields that require a specific path of education, and it is important to do your homework early and find out what you need to know as early as possible.

Although related, choosing a major and career planning are two different things. Choosing a program/major means to select an academic program of study for the next three to four years whereas career planning is an ongoing process that usually begins during university and continues throughout your work life.

When trying to decide what program/ major you should choose you may find considering the following helpful:

  1. What interests you the most? If you choose to study in an area you are interested, you will are likely to have higher academic achievement and will naturally be able to cultivate your excitement into any number of careers
  2. Don’t stop at simply reading the course descriptions in the academic calendar, take it two more steps by reading the course outlines frequently found on department websites and go to the bookstore to look through the text book. By reading over the material you’ll have a better gage at what you will actually be learning.
  3. Talk to upper year students already in the program/major. Find out what they consider to be the highs and lows.
  4. Do a little career exploration. You can take a career assessment to find out more about your personality, and spend some time considering how your values may play a role in your future career choices. Try spending some time reviewing the online resources such as Career Cruising www.careercruising.com.