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Choosing a Major

You may be starting college with only a vague idea of what to choose as a major and what to do as a career. If you do declare a major early on, you may find that your choice of major will change as you take courses. That’s OK. Because many early courses are not specific to certain majors, it may help to shop around during your first year.

However, if you have a specific area of study that you know you enjoy, declaring a major gives you a goal, keeps you focused and motivates you to study.

Major vs. Career

Your choice of major should reflect a field of study in which you have a genuine and enduring interest. Use the education you get to develop a career that gives you satisfaction.

Many careers in occupational fields do not require specific majors, so you don't have to choose a career that matches your major.

When deciding on a career or major

  • investigate what skills you will learn in specific fields of study and how they will apply to the career choices you might make later.
  • find something you enjoy doing, and don’t put excessive emphasis on salary and prestige.
  • consider your own talents and interests, rather than letting career fads or courses rumored to be easy dictate your choice.
  • follow your passion. Learn what you love to do and go for it.

Career Counseling

Take advantage of PCC’s resources to identify and gain insight into your interests, skills, values, personality and other factors that help you choose a major and set career goals.

  • Visit a campus career center or library.
  • Meet with a counselor.
  • Take STU 109 Making Career Choices a course that helps you select a major and career.
  • Take STU 150 Becoming a Master Student a motivational/study skills course that includes how to select a major and career.
  • Take STU 200 Becoming a Critical Thinker a course that helps you develop and apply thinking strategies.

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions can help you find interesting and exciting careers and majors. Here's how to do the research:

  • If you plan to transfer to a university, look at its upper-division (300 and 400 course numbers) courses and descriptions.
  • For occupational programs, look at PCC courses above the introductory level.

Other Exploratory Avenues

  • Research several career possibilities and academic majors.
  • Participate in student organizations or volunteer at agencies linked to a major in which you're interested.
  • Shadow someone in your career interest.