‘Major’ life decisions

Imagine your future in a couple of years. Where do you see yourself? What kind of job do you have? Are you happy in this job? As a college student it is inevitable that you will have to seriously start thinking about your future; it’s right around the corner! Most likely you are at UWGB to earn a degree that will prepare you for a career. But do you know about the many different career options that are offered? Or maybe you are undecided about a major. Have you looked at the list of majors offered at Green Bay and other schools? Sometimes it is difficult to know where to start, and when looking through so much information, it can be terribly confusing. Luckily, there are several tools and websites available that can offer assistance in you search.

If you are undeclared, chances are you may be feeling overwhelmed when you even think about choosing a major. It’s not uncommon, and there are many sites on the web that offer “major assessments.” One website I came across was mymajor.com. This site allows you to create an account using your email address, and then take a quiz to determine some possible major options. The program asks for you to rate the classes you took in high school and also asks you a few work related questions. The system then calculates your answers and formulates a list of five majors that fit your preferences. I was interested to see the accuracy of the MyMajor program, so I decided to take the quiz for myself. I am a vocal performance major and a musical theatre major, so I was definitely expecting a list of a few theatre and music related programs.  This was very true, because I was presented with 1. Theatre, 2. Dance, 3. Music teacher, 4. Special Needs teacher and 5. Public Communications. I concluded that online quizzes are a good starting point, but they are not always what you would expect. It’s important to take quizzes that are made by a reputable university or college prep site. This will help you avoid quizzes with no real logic to them. Take a few quizzes, but don’t freak out if the recommendations aren’t what you expected. Just keep an open mind and you may be surprised what you learn about yourself.

If you have decided on a major, or even if you haven’t, and are looking to build or explore career options, then wiscareers.wisc.edu is a great tool to use. Create a username and password login to access thousands of career profiles including a general overview of the job description, salary, and educational path for each occupation. It also includes “Hot Occupations,” which are jobs expected to see job openings increase by at least 27% in the next 10 years. This is a great way to get a sense of what a job is all about and to compare different options. The descriptions are quite honest and include a section of both pros and cons about the occupation. If you aren’t sure where to start you occupation search, Wiscareers also offers several career, skill, and values assessments, and uses your responses to generate suggested occupations. You can then browse through the recommendations and also find out what Wisconsin colleges offer degree programs required for each occupation. Wiscareers can then link you to any college, university, or tech school in the United States.

Assessment tools on the internet are numerous, and sometimes pretty confusing. If you take a few and aren’t sure how to begin applying the responses, it’s always a good idea to make an appointment with a Career Services professional. They can give you additional advice and steer you in the right direction when it comes to choosing a major and career planning. Office hours can be found on the Career Services website, by calling (920) 465-2163, or by stopping by SS 1600. We are always happy to help!