Choosing a Major/Career - Career Counseling

How To Choose A Major

Choosing a Major vs. Choosing a Career - Which is first?

There is no easy, one-size-fits all approach. Either requires information gathering and perspective to make a decision.

If you review the majors available at NEIU, you will

  • Select those academic departments that interest you.
  • Explore the coursework by reviewing the departments websites and speaking with the faculty.
  • From this information, limit your interests to two or three departments, and
  • Register for courses in these areas.
  • Confer with a career counselor/advisor.

There is nothing wrong with being undecided about a major or career, but during college, individuals begin to explore their options. This process continues after college, because workers must continuously adapt to increasingly dynamic and fast-changing work environments. Career planning and development is ongoing. This allows, and often forces, workers to have several careers. With increasing life-expectancy, you can work many years in each. So, if you like more than one academic subject area, you might not want to limit yourself. Perhaps, you can make one subject a minor. In any case, you should complement your main academic interest with other elective classes. Remember, to an employer, the significance of your completion of a college degree means that you can receive training and instruction, communicate both verbally and in writing, use analytical reasoning, and meet deadlines. Finishing the degree is the most important, the particular major less so. The choice of a major does not dictate what you'll be doing for the rest of your life.

Use NEIU's MyPlan to review a complete listing of resources related to majors.

MyPlan.com provides career planning resources, assessments, and more.

You must contact our office for a password to use this resource.


Questions To Ask About A Major

Use your self-knowledge and the information you need to gather to answer these items.

  • What specific academic topics are studied?
  • What learning approaches does this academic discipline use (science lab work, statistical/mathematical analysis, hands-on practice, abstract reasoning, etc.)? How do these fit your learning preferences?
  • What coursework requirements need to be met?
  • Which courses will be easier or more difficult for you?
  • What particular skills are learned?
  • What employers/industries hire for these skills?
  • What is the employment outlook/beginning salaries?
  • Does this major garner any advantages to securing an internship opportunity that interests you?
  • What types of careers do people with this major pursue?
  • Is graduate school a requirement for progressing in these careers?