Mobile Navigation Menu Icon. 3 horizontal gold bars.
First Year Advising Center
North Foundation Hall, Room 121
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(map)
(248) 370-3227
FYAC@oakland.edu
Orientation & New Student Programs
North Foundation Hall, Room 105
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(map)
(248) 370-GOLD
gold@oakland.edu
First Year Advising Center
North Foundation Hall, Room 121
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(map)
(248) 370-3227
FYAC@oakland.edu
Orientation & New Student Programs
North Foundation Hall, Room 105
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(map)
(248) 370-GOLD
gold@oakland.edu
Student and adviser seated across from each other, looking at a website called Find Your Future

Major and Career Exploration

Deciding on a major and/or career is a process which involves personal reflection and dedicated research to reach a best-fit decision. No matter where you are at in the process, the First Year Advising Center is here to help! Identify a topic below to help you determine the best place to begin your journey!
Reflect on Interests, Skills and Values

If you are unsure of your major and career interests, it may be a good idea to reflect upon your interests, skills, and values. Below you will find resources and tips on how learning more about yourself can aid in your major and career selection process. When searching for a best-fit major or career, it is important to consider these three characteristics:

Interests: What are you passionate about?  What will keep you interested and motivated for a significant period of time? Take an interest inventory.

Skills: What are you good at now? What, with some time and education, could you see yourself being good at in the future?  Take inventory of your skills. Select “Start your skills profile” to begin.

Values: What is important to you? When thinking about your future career, what characteristics are must-haves and what are deal-breakers?  Gain a deeper understanding of your values.

FYAC Assessments: The FYAC offers two formal career assessments to help you further investigate your interests and personality. If you feel this might be beneficial, contact the FYAC to discuss the possibility of taking one or both of these two assessments:

  • Strong Interest Inventory (SII): Learn more about areas that interest you
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): Learn more about your personality type.

Undecided Checklist: Click here to view a timeline and checklist of tasks to help you choose a major.

Investigate Majors and Career Options

In order to make a decision that best fits you, it is necessary to learn as much as you can about the majors and careers that you are considering.

Online Resources
Online resources are great places to start the investigation process. Here are websites that we have found particularly helpful:
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: This website provides detailed information about careers.
  • What can I do with this major?: This website gives you insight to career possibilities that relate to specific majors.
  • CareerOneStop: Click on “Explore Careers” to view occupation profiles, employment trends and wage information.
  • Bigfuture by The College Board: Begin by clicking on the "Explore Careers" tab.  You can explore career ideas and match your interests with careers. If you select “Major and Career Search” underneath that "Explore Careers"  tab you can view major and career profiles which include a description of the major and/or career.
  • O*NET: Use the “Skills Search” (located under the ‘Advanced Search’ options) to select your skill set and see how they match up with occupations.  “Find Occupations” will allow you to search occupations by keyword, browse by job family and explore how knowledge, skills, abilities, interests and work values relate to various occupations.
Face-to-face Connections

Sometimes the best way to learn about a major or career is to go straight to the source. Interacting directly with individuals who have experience in a specific major or career can provide the insight needed to determine if this major or career is a good fit for you.

Courses: Try to pick general education courses that allow you to explore your major and career interests. View general education courses.

  • Professors: Professors offer great insight into career options and major knowledge.  To contact a professor, use your syllabus or the directory. All correspondence with professors should be in a professional manner.
  • Informational Interviews: An informational interview is a great way to research a career by interviewing a person already employed in that field. These interviews allow you to obtain information about the career field and learn about the skills and educational experiences you will need to enter the field. Review a list of sample questions you can ask. Supplemental resources are also available through Career Services.
  • Job Shadows: Job shadows are one step further than informational interviews.  Instead of a brief meeting, the person investigating the career spends a substantial period of time (generally one hour to one day) observing a professional's day-to-day work activities.
  • Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteering is an awesome way to give back but can also help you to explore your interests with minimal investment. The Center for Student Activities provides a list of community agencies and events in need of volunteers.
Decide on your best fit

There is an abundance of career and major information.  It will be important to keep yourself organized during the research process to avoid becoming overwhelmed and to help you make your ultimate decision clearer. Make sure to find the way that works best for you.  Below are examples of possible organizational systems and things to keep in mind.

To change your major, if you are a first-year student, contact your FYAC adviser and they will direct you to the necessary form to request a major change. If you are a sophomore, junior or senior, go to the advising office for the school or college your intended major resides and request a major change there.

Engage with your Choice

If you have decided upon a major and/or career look at the resources below.