College is a great time for self-discovery and exploring the world around you, but it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what you want to major in and what career path to take.
It's OK if you are undecided about your major, you’re in good company. Choosing a major is too significant to rush, especially when it can lead you to your career. Instead, use your first semesters at the university to explore all of your possibilities.
Here are some strategies we recommend, but remember, YOU must discover your interests, skills, values, goals, and strengths. Once you know that, we can point you in the right direction to achieve your goals.
- Meet with your academic advisor to help guide your research on the requirements for the different majors.
- Did you know that USI offers more than 100 areas of study? Take a look at the different programs that USI offers and visit the websites of those that intrigue you.
Talk to professionals about their career fields
One way to learn more about a career is to conduct a job shadow with a professional who currently works in an industry of your interest to learn what they do on a daily basis. Job shadowing is when you meet with a professional who currently works in an industry of your interest and see what they do on a daily basis.
Ask family members, friends, and neighbors, if you can spend a day observing them at work. Be sure to make a great first impression from the moment you ask about job shadowing through your follow-up thank you note. Dress to impress, keep detailed and accurate notes, ask follow up questions and avoid getting in their way at work. At the end of the job shadowing experience, reflect on what you learned. What did you like? What did you dislike? What were the critical components of the job? What was the working environment?
At the end of the job shadowing experience, reflect on what you learned. What did you like? What did you dislike? What were the critical components of the job? What was the working environment?
Remember to follow up with a personalized, hand-written note sent within a few days of your job shadow experience.
An informational interview is simply a carefully constructed conversation with someone who can share information and insight with you. Consider scheduling an informational interview with faculty in the departments you are considering for a major.
Other potential interview candidates may include staff and administrators around USI and professionals who work in an industry in which you are interested. Some questions you may consider asking include "What do you like most about this field and what do you like least", "What types of courses did you find more interesting", "How would you describe this major to someone who had never heard of it". The Career Services and Internships Office has additional resources regarding career-related informational interviews.
Here are some websites that can help you when searching for which major or career fits you the best.
- Candid Career
- CandidCareer gives you access to thousands of informational interview videos with professionals sharing their personal career experiences and major exploration tips. You will learn what they do in their job, how they got to where they are now, how to prepare for a specific career, as well as the things they love about their occupation and what they find challenging. A great resource for students in the process of choosing a major or career path.
- USI Degree Check Sheets
- Most majors and minors have check sheets that can be used to document a student’s progress toward a degree. These sheets are meant to be used as a guideline and are not to be used in place of meetings with an academic advisor.
- What Can I Do With A Major In ... ?
- A website that helps you connect majors with careers. Pay particular attention to the Strategies section
- Occupational Outlook Handbook
- The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. The Handbook is revised every two year.
- The O*NET system serves as the nation's primary source of occupational information, providing comprehensive information on key attributes and characteristics of workers and occupations. The O*NET database houses this data and O*NET OnLine provides easy access to that information.
- Career Cruising
- Career Cruising is an interactive career resource designed for people of all ages. If you want to find the right career, explore different career options, or plan future education and training, you've come to the right place! Username is: usiscreaming Password is: eagles
- Learn More Indiana
- Helps Hoosier students of all ages PLAN, PREPARE and PAY for college completion and career success through effective communications and outreach efforts.
- 21st Century Scholars Program
- Indiana started the 21st Century Scholars in 1990 to ensure that every student can afford a college education. Income-eligible 7th and 8th graders who enroll in the program and fulfill a pledge of good citizenship are guaranteed to receive up to four years of undergraduate tuition* at any participating public college or university in Indiana.