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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Content Any Way U Want It!

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September 21, 2023

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How changing majors may affect students

One of the biggest decisions a student makes in their life occurs when they choose a career, but what you go to college for may not exactly be what you do for the rest of your life.

Jeffery Jackson, assistant vice president at the Career Center says that values are most important when deciding what you want to go to school for.

“You’re not going to want to get out of bed every day to go do something you don’t like,” said Jackson. “If it really excites you, you’re going to want to do it.“

On average, students change their major 5-7 times. Jackson said the biggest reason for this is “uniformed decisions” combined with skewed perceptions of what the job is really like.

One of the best ways to combat this indecision is to research, and a good way to start is to narrow down options of various jobs based on your own personal interests.

The Career Center aims to interact with students early on to expose them to “various career assessments” and to “saturate them with information about careers,” said Jackson.

“I was president of a business and marketing club in high school,” said Sam Manning, a fourth year student at the University. “We did competitions and went to nationals, I really wanted to get into business because of it.”

During the winter of Manning’s sophomore year, he scored a job as the student equipment manager for the football team. The following semester, he changed his major from business to sports management.

“My interests changed and I realized I wanted to do something with sports,” said Manning. “I’m glad I made the switch.”

Jackson reminds students that what you do right when you graduate isn’t your career, but rather a job, and the skills and “six or more” jobs you acquire post-graduation define your true career and what you really went to college for.

Sophomore Amy Ridgway recently declared her major in VCT after going through her first year at the University as undecided. She said she wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted to do and “didn’t want to waste time and money” on something she was unsure of.

Changing majors as a freshman really has no impact on the four-year track since most of the courses offered and taken are general education. However, Jackson said that there might be conflicts when changing a major, say from the College of Arts and Sciences to the College of Business Administration, because curriculum differs.

A change like this could add a potential “2-3 more years of school” for students at or above the sophomore level, but students like Manning, who plans to graduate in the fall, will be finishing up in just a semester over 4 years.

Changing majors can have positives too, allowing students to “learn about other things” and the fact that it “validates what you don’t want to do,” said Jackson. The same is true for undecided students who aren’t ready to commit to a field.

Jeffrey Jackson and the Career Center have been developing a new Pre-Major Pathway program that will be offered to students starting Fall Semester 2014.

The new program will be an option for undecided students, “connecting them with SOAR early on” and helping them assess and research possible careers that may be right for them, explained Jackson.

“The goal is 4 years,” said Jackson. He hopes this new program will help undecided students and prevent such frequent major changes later on, guaranteeing a more definitive 4-year plan.

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