Weighing College Majors and Career Choices


Stacy writes:
I am currently attending community college to attain a transferable A.A. degree with plans to attend a four-year university. I am having quite a bit of trouble deciding on a direction for a major or career. I was hoping you would be able to offer me some guidance. I have a 3.85 GPA and feel that writing is my strong point academically although I have a strong interest in the social sciences. I have been employed at a local business for more than four years. I am a receptionist. I love working with our customers and feel that my verbal communication skills are above average. The business I work for is animal-related and I also love working with them but am not interested in veterinary medicine. Do you have any suggestions for me?


The Career Doctor responds:
People with strong communications skills — both written and verbal — are in high demand in many fields so you need to decide whether you want to focus on those skills or combine them with some of your other interests. Just from your limited comments I would suggest looking more into what kinds of careers you might have with majors in
psychology sociology and marketing.
You can find a number of good sites that feature “what can I do with a major in …” sections at Quintessential Careers: Career Exploration. There’s also a link there to my article Choosing a College Major: How to Chart Your Ideal Path that may be of help to you. See also our section What Can I do With a Major in…?W
If you are still undecided you might also consider taking one or more career assessment tests. A variety of free and fee-based assessment tests can be found at Quintessential Careers: Career Assessment.
One final piece of advice: don’t worry so much about a major or career. . . so many recent studies show that a large number of people are working in areas totally unrelated to their college major and that people will change careers — not jobs but careers — at least five times over the course of their lives.