Welcome prospective post-secondary students! In this episode we would like to help you with some tools to discover your ideal major of study to hopefully get you to the career you desire. Some career pathways are pretty straightforward while a couple others require some more detailed engagement.
Isolate your ideal field
When you think about the life you want to lead is there are a sector, profession, or business you see yourself in? Perhaps you have an interest in airplanes, you don’t have to be a pilot, you could work in the corporate side of an airline company, you could run a travel agency, or be an aviation engineer.
Looking at a sector from different angles gives you openings of participation that may not be obvious to other applicants and therefore may be less crowded academically and in job opportunities after graduation.
Isolate your ideal career
Once you can isolate a sector of interest then you want to consider what career aligns with your strongest skill/talent/interest. Given how a lot of outside-the-box-thinking is required you will need to be able to distil what your best features are. When you have done that you draw a clear line between the things you do well or have a strong interest in and a study path (diploma/degree) to job/career.
In the cases where a clear connection may not be imminent between an academic path and a job title, you may have to evaluate what the core skills are and what fields require such skills. With this you can make a list of a few possible majors to get you in the career you envision for yourself.
Analyze your Major choices
You need to first know what majors are available to you based on your grades and classes you’re enrolled in. This is important if the major you would like to take requires courses you aren’t already taking or if you need to improve a grade. Due to these possibilities you want to give yourself as much as time as possible with this process.
You also want to make sure you are aware of application deadlines in addition to all the application requirements for your desired majors.
Options for change
An important thing to remember as you make these decisions is the possibility you might want to change your major down the line. It could stem from realizing that major is not for you or simply because you found something that fit better. This is important to pay attention to because your top choices typically shouldn’t be too far from each other as a switch of majors could prove really difficult. Keeping this in mind in your decision phase should help you organize your choices well, and if you do need to make a drastic change you are prepared for it. It is also good to note that as long as you are not switching from different fields like liberal arts to engineering the limits shouldn’t be too debilitating.
Ultimately whether your top choices are easy to switch from shouldn’t take precedence over how well these two fit into your overall academic-career plan, but they are good to note.
Conventional or Not
I think it might go without stating that the typical academic route is best suited for people with plans of conventional careers i.e. lawyer, doctor, engineer, accountant etc. This doesn’t mean it is easier for these candidates to get to their destinations, it just means there is more laid out for them in terms of an established pipeline.
The candidates with interests in Business, Health, Liberal Arts, Computer sciences, Bio/Chemical and several other choices can look to find new ways in and new things to bring to these already established sectors.
The non-conventional pathways like creative fields and innovative sectors also have conventional ways in, in additional to the possibilities of breaking new grounds. Entertainers still need lawyers, actors still need accountants, visual artists can work at multinational companies in their design department or film makers can work in the government using their skills in various ways.
Having interests outside of your academic core are vital to university admission but they are also important for resume building which is why you should have a good idea where you want to be after graduation so you can work towards that during your academic journey.
It will help to be in school groups in your intended field, you can find school groups, but also in the community you live as well as online. You never know what sort of resources you could learn about through building and fostering a relationship with like-minded individuals.
If you are enrolled in a Co-op program then do as much preparation for that as you can ahead of it so you can perform above expectations. When you are not in a Co-op term you can seek out internships affording you real-world experience but hopefully putting in applicable experience for your resume.
Hopefully from all the above examples you can find some new ideas to implement into your grand master plan, or you can get some reinforcement for things you are already doing.
Either way we hope you found this useful and we wish you all the best as you continue on your academic endeavors!