5A. Major/Career Exploration

Most students will change their major or at least seriously consider doing so at least once during their college career. The annual Major Mania information fair allows students to explore majors in one location and speak directly to faculty and professional advisors representing over 100 majors. Another resource for students is to look over the What Can I Do With This Major? and the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net websites for more information about majors and careers.

Myths on Choosing a Major 

Misconceptions about students who are questioning their choice of a major abound. Some myths concerning students who are exploring majors include:

  • There is something wrong with me because I do not know what major I should be in.
  • A particular major will qualify me for one particular career.
  • There is only one right major for me.
  • Once I commit to a major, it will be nearly impossible for me to change my mind and graduate on time.
  • Every other student has decided on a major except for me.
  • Finding the right major will be quick if I put my mind to it.
  • Everybody knows you can’t get a decent job with ___________ major.
  • I should major in what my ________________ says I should.  They seem to know more than I what I should major in.
  • I can take a test that will tell me what to major in.
  • I was good at ___________ in high school, so I will naturally like _____________ and be good at ___________ in college.

Alaska Career Information System (AKCIS) 

The Alaska Career Information System (AKCIS) is an interactive, web-based education and career-planning resource designed specifically with Alaskan students in mind.  One of the most popular features of the program is the Reality Check – a wonderful resource that allows students to compare what lifestyle they want, how much they would spend each month, and what schooling and careers they will need to meet that income level.  The free online system is available through the Academic Advising Center, and UAF CTC’s Student Advising & Registration Center.

Strong Interest Inventory (SII)  

The Strong Interest Inventory   (SII) is often used to aid people in making educational and career decisions.  The Strong Interestinventory assesses the user’s interests and compares the interests to people working in various occupations. Students will receive feedback on their strongest interest themes as well as which occupational titles match these interests.  Students must set up an appointment with a Strong-credentialed academic advisor or career counselor to receive the results of the online inventory.  Contact the Academic Advising Center to receive the online userid and password.

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