Majors and Careers

How do you figure it all out?

Most students come to Bates without a clear idea of what they want to major in; others start off with a plan but then change their minds after taking courses in new disciplines. There may be 2 or 3 majors that are right for you and all can lead to the same career. Almost every field includes individuals who majored in a range of academic subjects. The process of settling on a major or selecting a career path can be confusing and stressful, so we’re here to help.

Pick a major that you are truly interested in, consider that 90% of employers agree that a graduate’s ability to think critically, communicate clearly and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.” AAC&U report from 2013.

3 Steps to Choosing a Major

Self Assessment
Take the time to identify your skills, interests and values. Call and make an appointment to discuss your ideas with a career counselor, or consider taking a standardized instrument such as SkillScan Express or iStartStrong.

There are lots of useful tools on our website for exploring majors and career. Start with What can I do with a major in..Spotlight on Careers, and O*NET. Brainstorm a list of people you know who are connected to the fields you are exploring. Ask to do an informational interview with them to gather more information. Join LinkedIn and become a member Bates College Alumni & Friends Group to access more alumni profiles and make connections. Schedule an appointment to talk to a career counselor about other resources for exploring careers and connecting with alumni.

Review the range of Bates majors and minors and narrow your list to a few possibilities. Look at Handshake for internship and volunteering ideas. Talk to faculty about getting involved in a research project. Take a course with a Field Experience component. Develop a resume. Meet with a career counselor to transform your thoughts into action.

Call us at 207-786-6232 and we’ll help you get started!