Choosing or Changing a Major

Choosing or changing a major is a big step and can easily feel overwhelming. If you are struggling with this decision, you are not alone: nearly 1/3 of students enter college as undeclared and of those who enter with a major, about 50% change majors at least once.

Make sure to read the Registrar’s criteria for changing your major.

The decision to change majors deserves its due diligence and there are a few things to consider before making the leap.

Step 1: Reflect

The first step is to understand yourself. This means examining your values, interests, personality and skills and how they influence your major selection and ultimately your career path. Self-exploration will help you make a more informed decision about what majors fit you best.

  • Employer Engagement and Career Design has multiple assessments that can help you define your values, skill set, personality and interests and can also explain how they influence career choice.
  • Schedule a hour long appointment with a counselor through the myNortheastern portal by clicking the Employer Engagement and Career Design tab and then choosing Counseling Appointments. You can also schedule an appointment by calling the front desk at 617-373-2430.

Step 2: Explore

People struggle with decision making because they simply don’t have enough information. It’s like going out to eat and not understanding the menu options. To make an informed decision, you need to ask questions and gather more information. Employer Engagement and Career Design has multiple resources to help you do this.

  • Exploring Careers is a full list of websites to help you research everything from specific occupations to industry trends.
  • The Major Career Guides break down different majors and careers by providing you with a broad overview, a list of possible job titles, industries, employers and even job searching sites specific to that industry.
  • Social media and basic Internet research is a great way to explore different majors. Read through the Social Media guide to get started. LinkedIn has industry groups that you can join to connect with professionals in that field and there are thousands of professional blogs that can provide additional perspective on certain industries. Professional associations and organizations are also a great resource for learning more about a certain career path.

Step 3: Connect

The best way to research careers is to talk to the people that are actually in the trenches- the professionals themselves! Northeastern has a well-established and robust alumni network for students to take advantage of. In addition, faculty are generally leaders in their field and have great connections and good advice when you’re struggling with your major. Finally, talk to family and friends, you may have a distant uncle or a friend of a parent who is working in an industry you’re interested in.

  • Informational Interviews will give you the inside story from professionals in your field.
  • HuskyNation is a large alumni database. As a junior and senior, you’re granted access and can use this to search for alumni who may be willing to meet with you for an informational interview.
  • Social Networking sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter are great ways to connect with industry professionals. Follow Employer Engagement and Career Design on Twitter and Instagram and join our LinkedIn Group!
  • Attend Career Conversations and other Employer Engagement and Career Design events to meet alumni and professionals in a variety of fields.
  • NU Talent Connect and Career Fairs are a great place to network and learn about employers and career paths.