Choosing A Major

Choosing or changing a major is a big step and can easily feel overwhelming. It is important to remember that there is usually no "moment of revelation" regarding the perfect major or the perfect career for you. In fact, there is no single major or career which is the best for you—each of us has abilities which can be applied to a wide variety of career fields. Most of us will work for approximately 10 different employers during our lifetime, have at least three or four different careers, and spend an average of 3.5 years in each position. The challenge is to find majors and careers which combine as many of your interests as possible. The key in a rapidly changing workforce is to have transferable skills that you can apply to a range of careers.

Because commencement will be here sooner than you think, it is not too early to start thinking about, and planning for, your future career. In fact, it is best to start early in your college experience so that you can use your time as a student to make wise decisions. Below, you will find a brief description of the different elements of the major exploration process.  Decide where you fall in the process, and start exploring!


Step 1—Self Assessment

Self assessment involves examining your skills, interests, personality and values. Once you have identified those, they can be used to begin identifying potential careers. For self assessment, FOCUS is a great place to start. To login to FOCUS use the access code "ohiou329".


Step 2—Explore Your Options

Exploring your options means finding out more about the careers you identified in step 1 through self assessment. It is also important to research the different careers that may match with different majors. FOCUS is an excellent resources for this step. For a complete list of majors offered at Ohio University please click HERE. Additionally, our useful sites page has a variety of recourses that you can utilize to explore your options. 


Step 3—Get Experience

To narrow your options further, it is an excellent idea to pursue a job or internship that is closely related to the career field you are considering. The Career Exploration section of this website identifies the many options you can choose from to help narrow your options. This step should also include doing informational interviews and job shadowing. To find out more about informational interviews and job shadowing visit our networking page.


Step 4Plan for the Future

Based on the information and experience you have gathered from steps 1-3, you need to plan ahead for the future. If you intend to join the workforce, your search should be well underway by the fall of your final year, as fall is the heaviest college recruiting season.  If you plan to pursue graduate education, it is easiest to begin this process your junior year. The Career and Leadership Development Center has many resources to assist you in the graduate school or job search process, visit the Job/Internship Search section and Graduate School section of our website or stop by the office for more information on this, or any of the other topics detailed here.

Career and Leadership Development Center