What do you like to do? What are you good at doing? What is important to you?
Thinking about these things and everything that goes into choosing a major can be overwhelming. Jot down your ideas in this Wandering Map Exercise to start your brainstorming.
Reflecting on your interests, values and abilities can also help you structure your thoughts to identify potential majors that best align with you.
The ideal major teaches you a topic you want to learn about...
- How do you spend your free time?
- What do you do for fun?
- What kind of classes do you like?
The ideal major plays to your natural strengths...
- What subjects come natural to you?
- Are there subjects that are particularly difficult?
- Outside of academics, what are your talents?
- In what areas have you received awards and recognition?
The ideal major aligns with things that are important to you...
- What does meaningful work look like to you?
- What must you achieve in life to be happy? (money, prestige, service to others, etc.)
- What kind of lifestyle do you desire? (how much money might it require?)
- What does family want you to pursue/achieve?
These are big multi-layered questions, which can be difficult to answer. Below are links to free online assessments that can help you start thinking through your answers to these questions.
What activities are you normally involved in? These could be hobbies, extra-curricular activities or how you use your free time. In an ideal world, what you like to do for fun would be in line with what you study and what you do for your career. O*NET Interest Profiler is a free tool that can help you identify your interests, and locate potential careers and majors for specific disciplines. Truity Holland Code Career Test is an additional free assessment that will identify your areas of interests and matches them to potential careers.
What skills do you have? These assessments look at your skill sets and match them to potential occupations that require similar skills. We can then identify specific majors which best support those occupations. CA Career Zone Skills Profiler or CareerOneStop’s Skills Matcher are free assessments that can help you identify a potential career match.
Values are what you live by. They are core principles that drive your actions. Finding a career and major that is true to your value system is critical for long term success, satisfaction and commitment to the field. Myplan.com offers a free values assessment that identifies occupations that match your work values.
While every student would love an assessment that tells them exactly what the right major or career would be right for them, no assessment is perfect. The results of the assessments should not be the only options to consider, but instead be used as a platform to build off of with ideas of your own. After completing at least one assessment, we recommend you print the results and bring it with you to review with your UAC Counselor.