Below you can learn the myths and truths about how to best choose a college major and have career success.

False: One study found that the average college student who enters college with a declared major changes it three to five times. On the other hand, the average student who enters college with an undeclared major changes only one to two times. You may feel pressure to declare a major quickly, however, you will benefit by taking some time to explore the careers that best fit your gifts and abilities. Making career choices that fit who you are will then allow you to choose the college major that will best help you achieve your career goals. (While in most case you have two years before deciding on a major, there are some majors that are exceptions.) If you need help with this, email us!

False: Career planning has to be intentional. Instead, many people in our country don’t actually make career decisions. Instead, they let circumstances or people that they know make the decisions for them. For example, Beth’s dad thinks that she should become a nurse because it will be a secure job area where she can make a decent salary. Since Beth doesn't know what she should do, she goes ahead and declares nursing as her major. Later in her junior year while doing some field work as a nurse, she determines that she doesn't really like nursing and now feels stuck.

Learning how to make good career and college major decisions involves actions steps that include assessing your gifts and abilities; exploring the right career options; learning decision making strategies and establishing action plans for meeting your goals. Here is a four year college and career plan that can help you to be successful.

False: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the most popular college major is business. Pablo Tioseco at businesschool.com says, “There are various reasons why Business is so popular for young adults. One of the main reasons is that the degree and its concentrations provide great training and a strong foundation for many entry level jobs offered in the marketplace.” If you are love business and have taken time to see how your skills, interests and personality traits would fit with jobs in the business field then majoring in business may be the best choice. However, if you are choosing to major in business because there is a good job market for business majors or you don’t know what else to do, then check out the services we offer that can help you make wise career and college major decisions.

False: San Bernardo in an article at factoidz.com reports that, “Within ten years, seventy percent of college graduates will not be working in a field related to their major. What are the causes? Some graduates, certainly, have little idea as to what they want to do and change fields, and to a great degree, this is not their fault. Some get laid off and begin anew, among other miscellaneous reasons.

However, at the foundation of this factoid is the sobering reality that many college students are being misguided by fulfilling the wishes of parents, society, or a personal desire to achieve much needed prestige and respect.” He goes on to say that, “Ultimately, it’s not even about what anyone else wants or a misinformed desire but more about a lack of focus on what the student wants…

As Steven Covey describes it is important to start with the end in mind. That means related to choosing a college major that you will want to start by finding out what types of career and job area would fit you best. Then you can decide what kind of major would help you to most successfully enter that field of work.

False: Choosing a major is only one of the steps that is needed for college and career success. We have developed a 4-Year Career & Life Calling Plan to help you know what the important steps are to focus on during each of your college years.
False: The world of work is changing rapidly. There are many jobs today (such as social media director) that did not even exist a few years ago. Four years from now there will be many new jobs that don’t exist today. A liberal arts college like Concordia will prepare you to have a broad range of skills, experiences and knowledges. Your college major will also help prepare you to do a variety of jobs. Since most people have “tunnel” vision when it comes to knowing about different types of jobs, it is important to widen your vision by exploring a range of job options that fit your skills, interests, values and personality traits.
False: The path to career goals is typically more of a zig-zag path with many changes of jobs and directions. In fact, studies show that most people change careers 3-5 times and jobs 7-10 times during their work life. Your degree from Concordia will give you a great foundation for seeking job opportunities that allow you to maximize the use of your God-given skills and abilities.
False: Most television shows and news reports distort jobs and careers because of coverage time and for the entertainment value. Several years ago after a show about attorney working in Los Angeles began broadcasting, the University of Michigan reported a 400% increase in law applicants. Most of the people applying for law school probably had a very distorted view of the work as a lawyer from watching this television show. With the cost of education in terms of your energy and financial resources, it make sense to make sure you have a realistic view of the work you are preparing to do in the future. Learn more about Career Exploration & Reality Testing.
False: No matter what your college major is, graduating with a liberal arts degree from Concordia will change your career and life. Compared to those without a four year degree your investment at Concordia will results in more job choices, higher earnings, lower unemployment and opportunities for promotion.
False: Career testing and assessment is one of the best ways to learn about who you are and what areas of work would fit you best. Assessments can also show you what types of college majors would match up with your interests and personality. It is important, however, to understand that no career test can tell you exactly what kind of career you should do. Instead, career tests and assessments help you to understand your skills, interests, values, personality traits and other parts of your God-given design. Then by organizing this information into what we call a Life Calling Map, you can explore and make decisions on the careers and college majors that would best fit you.

Some material adapted from Liberal Arts Majors: Countering Some Myths (Seattle Pacific University)