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Myths About Majors

Many students often assume incorrectly what it means to "major" in a particular subject. These assumptions are often untrue.
  1. Pick a major, pick a career:  Not really.

    • A major does not necessarily define a student’s career path.  This might be true for very specialized majors like nursing, engineering, social work, and nutrition.  However, choosing a major does not limit a student to just one career choice.
    • Some careers, like law and medicine, do not require that an undergrad degree be in a particular major.
  2. Choosing one major excludes all others: NOT EVEN!

    • Students can combine interests by undertaking a double major.
    • Students can minor in an alternate program of study.
    • Students can obtain a certificate in different subject/program/field.
    • Students can take classes to validate and promote their interests, whether or not they desire to pursue them as a career path.
    • It’s not unusual for students to change their majors, sometimes more than once!  Just be aware that the longer it takes a student to decide on a major, the longer they will be in school  (and paying tuition)!
  3. My major—my life track: Probably not!

    • The typical American has at least 3 different careers in his/her lifetime  (and 15+ jobs).  It is likely that not all of those careers or jobs necessarily relate directly to their college major.
    • Some majors (like philosophy and theatre) don’t relate to many careers per se, BUT the skills acquired  (critical thinking, effective communication) can be applied to many career fields.
    • Remember, choosing a major is an important decision, but it is not absolutely crucial to one’s future success.