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.. to see typical career paths for each major at Bates. Read about the educational requirements for different careers on Spotlight on Careers and the  O*NET. Research Bates alumni on LinkedIn who are working in interesting careers or look at all alumni within in a certain major to see what they are doing now. Ask to do an informational interview with them to gather more information.

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