How do I choose a major?
Deciding what major or career to pursue can be difficult, so we encourage you to take a moment or two, think about these questions, and focus on what will ultimately make you happy.
• What courses and topics spark your interest?
• What social causes and activities are you passionate about?
• What talents and skills come naturally to you?
• What three adjectives would your friends use to describe your personality?
• What can you see yourself doing in five or ten years?
The process of self-assessment can help you to identify majors or careers that suit your interests, skills, personality traits, and work values. You may do this informally by talking with academic and career advisors, professors, family members, and friends. You may also wish to complete an interest inventory that will help you assess your interests and find out which professionals in various career fields you seem to be similar to.
Our office currently offers the Strong Interest Inventory (“Strong”) assessment free of charge to Shepherd students. To learn more about the Strong and to view a sample results report, please visit our Strong Interest Inventory webpage. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304-876-5814 for more information.
We strongly encourage you to utilize the following resources that include occupational databases, career paths for different majors, and helpful worksheets.
College Foundation of West Virginia (Explore programs and majors.)
Researching a Major (Worksheet to help you in exploring a major of your interest)
Informational Interview Questions (Questions you can utilize to explore a career through interviewing a professional from a field of your interest)
5 Questions When Choosing a Major (Some important questions to think about and consider when choosing a major)
College Foundation of West Virgina Career Planning (Take an online assessment to determine your interests, skills, and work values to assist in career exploration, search career options, or learn more about specific careers.)
College Foundation of West Virginia College Planning (Explore postsecondary school options, different programs and majors, and start planning to meet college requirements.)
O*NET OnLine (Occupational database containing information on hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors)
Occupational Outlook Handbook (Occupational database that can help you find career information on duties, education and training, pay, and outlook for hundreds of occupations)
Career and Skills Assessment (Skills assessment with links to explore careers, only takes five to ten minutes. Similar to the inventory on O*Net, but formatted differently.)
Career Values Test (Allows you to stack cards in order to rank what’s most important to you in the workplace and then compare your values to different careers.)
Princeton Review Find a Major (A great tool to explore jobs that could arise from different majors. Learn outcomes regarding understanding of how the courses in the major relate and interact to prepare the student for their chosen career.)