Four Myths about Majors and Careers

Did you know one in four WSU students are still deciding on a major? It is estimated that up to 75% of U.S. undergrad students change their majors at least once (Gordon, 2007). There are numerous myths related to selecting a college major and starting your career. Eliminating the myths can make your decision process less stressful and help you make the decision that is right for you. Here is what you need to know!

Myth 1: 

There is only one major and career for me. I better not get it wrong!


Truth: People are not one dimensional and your job alone does not define you. Your interests, strengths, values, and life goals mean that there are many majors and careers that would be right for you. Which one (or combination) makes sense for you right now?


Myth 2: 

If I pick the wrong major now, I will struggle with this career my whole life.


Truth: In today’s world, a person graduating from college now will likely change jobs more than seven times. Start with a career that you could see yourself doing for the first five years. During that time new opportunities will appear based on your strengths, your evolving interests, and your hard work. As doors open, choose the ones that make sense for you!


Myth 3: 

If I wait long enough, a major will come to me.


Truth: That is not likely. It is true that deciding a major comes more easily to some people. If that is not you, then doing some self-assessments and exploring your major and career interests will give you the information you need to make your choice. It takes time and effort that will more than pay off in the long run.


Myth 4: 

Employers only look for certain majors.


Truth: More and more, employers are stating that what sets the best candidates apart are critical thinking and soft skills. Most state that they are confident in training new recruits on specific job requirements, but have difficulty finding people skilled in teamwork, communication, leadership, professionalism, and work ethic. Enhance your skills through part-time jobs, volunteering, internships, studying abroad, and involvement in clubs and organizations.