Researching Majors

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This week we are focusing on your major and how it relates (or doesn’t) to your career path.

The major you choose will neither predict nor guarantee your future. Many graduates find jobs that have nothing to do with what they studied in college. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average twenty-something switches jobs once every three years and the average person changes career fields two or three times in their lifetime.

Some careers do require a specific degree, nursing, accounting and engineering are examples, but most careers have a variety of pathways to get there.

For example, even if you plan to go to medical schools, you will need certain courses, or prerequisites, under your belt. But many future doctors choose subjects to major in s such as art, humanities and psychology instead of biology, chemistry or other science-related fields.

In addition, you don’t need a bachelors in one subject to get a master’s in another. For example, you can be a business major for your bachelor’s degree and still get a master’s in psychology.

Some students choose a major simply because they love the subject matter. If you love what you’re studying, you’re more likely to fully engage with your classes and college experience, and that can mean better grades and great relationships with others in your field. If your calling is philosophy, don’t write it off just because you’re not sure about graduate school, or what the job market holds for philosophers. Many liberal arts majors provide students with critical thinking skills and writing abilities that are highly valued by employers.

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Double Majors and Minors:

If one field of study doesn’t satisfy your intellectual appetite, consider a minor. A minor is similar to a major in that it’s an area of academic concentration. The only difference is that a minor does not require as many classes.

Some undergrads with a love of learning and an appetite for punishment choose to pursue two majors, often in totally different subjects. A double major provides you with an understanding of two academic fields. It allows you to become familiar with two sets of values, views and vocabularies. That said, it also requires you to fulfill two sets of requirements and take twice as many required classes. You won’t have as many opportunities to experiment or take classes outside those two fields.

While a minor or a double major might make you more marketable, both professionally and for graduate study, both are time—and energy—intensive. Most students find that one major is more than enough.

You’ll learn more about “myths and facts” related to majors in this week’s video. I am also asking you to do research related to your major and courses needed if you plan to transfer.

1. Watchvideo on myths and facts about majors. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
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2. What is one new thing you learned from watching the video?

3. What is your current top choice occupation?

4. What majors/degrees are pathways to that career?

5.Watch video on how to use (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
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. If you are planning to transfer, use the (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. site to find out what lower division courses (also known as “major preparation courses”) are required for you major. Provide a link to the major prep courses for a University of California or California State University campus you would like to transfer to. If you are planning on transferring to a private university, provide a link to that college’s webpage with information regarding your major.

6. What subjects would be beneficial as a double major or minor to your career field? How might these majors help you or enhance your career?

7. Visit Cal State University, Los Angele’s website What Can I Do With This Major? (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. or the Citrus College page (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (see the “Course of Study drop down at the top left). Review the occupations listed. What is at least one occupations you hadn’t considered related to your major?

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