What should your college major be? What career should you pursue? What will make you happy? Maybe you know, maybe you don’t. Either way it’s OK.
My high school English teacher made me write my obituary at age 17 – only to prove the point that somehow looking back at life one could figure out how to move forward. It’s true that life experiences bring many of these answers, but there’s also less draconian and easier ways - plus lots of tools -- to help jumpstart your thinking and help make some important choices as you begin your college journey.
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the guy who'll decide where to goDr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Free or low cost options can get your started, but Starting Gate is here to help you refine the process and then match your goals with the universities that offer programs in your interest areas.
Take your skills and interests and turn them into a career! These tests allow you to answers questions based on how you perceive your abilities, and then those answers are matched with possible careers.
Try “What Career Is Right for Me?” It’s free and will let you rank yourself on skills such as logic, communication, management, attention, and judgment.
If you favor games – try You Science. Eleven aptitude-driven “brain games” reveal your natural abilities in skills needed for high-demand careers. Each game takes 5-8 minutes to complete. You can stop, start, save, and come back at any time.
Career and Labor Market Information
There’s tons of information to dig though here, but time is best spent with the Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network Resource Center, a comprehensive database of worker attributes and job characteristics. The O*NET database is skill-based and will help you identify your work-related interests, abilities, and values. Then you will be matched with career options that reflect theses preferences. From there we will find college majors that train necessary skills in your areas of interest.
College Major Data Bases
You don’t have to be a student at these schools to take advantage of their free career resources.
- Northeastern University Career Center
- Macalester College Career Development Center
- Rutgers University
- Major Resource Kits (University of Delaware)
- University of Colorado, Denver
- University of California – Berkeley
- Major Web-Links (Northern Illinois University)
- What Can I Do With a Major In? (University of North Carolina at Wilmington)
- Match Major (Florida State)
- University of Illinois
- University of Michigan
- Penn State University
Below are two personality tests you can download to get started evaluating your preferences, talents, and aptitudes.