I had a lot of trouble choosing a college major. The trouble was that I excelled in the arts and not much else (so I thought). That’s not a bad thing but as a kid growing up in a blue-collar family whose parents were spending their hard-earned money to send me to college, I felt like I’d better be able to move out of their house and support myself soon after graduation. I wasn’t optimistic about that happening unless I found a very practical major.
The only advice I got from my parents was, “You’re not going to do one thing for the rest of your life, so just start somewhere.” I think that is good advice to take the pressure off, and it’s true that most people have several jobs in their lifetime. But there are sooo many places one can start that it can feel overwhelming.
That’s why I recommend students use ECC’s Career Development Services (located in B120, the Student Success Center) or take GSD 120 our career exploration class. Both will help you assess yourself and then learn about occupations that match your interests, personality, abilities and values. I also recommend these websites to gather more information about occupations and majors.
A website that answers the question, “What can you do with a major in…” These are good for students who know what subjects they like but need to see a list of occupations related to the major.
Websites where you can look up an occupation and see the salary, employment outlook, description, education & training requirements, and related occupations:
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Illinois Career Information System