Choosing Your Major and Identifying Your Career Field

Choosing Your Major and Identifying Your Career Field

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

From as far back as you can remember, someone has asked you this question. Your first answer might have been “teacher,” “athlete,” “astronaut,” or even “mother.” As we get older, our knowledge of career options should grow, but the career decision-making process is still the same:

  • Who am I?
  • What is important to me?
  • How do I use this information to make an informed career decision?

Knowing You: Interests and Skills

Your interests are your personal preferences – for example, how do you spend your free time, what subjects do you enjoy, where are your favorite places to visit, and with whom? Understanding interest areas can help us think about the types of work-related activities we might find enjoyable.You probably are better at, and enjoy doing, certain activities more than others. For instance, maybe you take detailed, accurate notes. Perhaps you are a naturally good listener.  You might have experience working with computers. By understanding which skills you excel at, or identifying skills you would like to have, you can find a career that emphasizes these.

Knowing What is Important to You: Values

Your values stem from your experiences with your relationships, your community, and your personal beliefs. Some value areas may include: helping others, personal independence, opportunities for achievement and recognition, maintaining or building personal relationships, community involvement, and financial security.

Pulling It Together

To make the most informed career decision, you need to rank each of the above areas in order of importance. For instance, your interests and skills may lead you to consider careers in technology, but your family relationships require you to find a job close to home. You can then focus your exploration on careers that have a bright hiring forecast in your local area.
Career Advisors are available to help you navigate the career decision-making process. Visit AdvisorTrac on MyAUM to schedule an appointment, or stop by the Career Development Center in Taylor Center Room 323.

How do you choose a major and identify your career field?

Career decision making requires understanding several things about yourself: your values, interests, skills, abilities, and personality characteristics. The AUM Career Development Center uses an online career assessment tool, FOCUS2, to assist you in learning how your unique blend of elements could be used in the workplace. This tool is designed to help students select the right major, explore career options within each major, and establish a plan to achieve career goals.

Create your FOCUS2 account to begin your career exploration! Contact the Career Development Center for access information.

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