Our career coaches can help you decide on a major, clarify your interests, and discover possible career options.
Choosing a Major
Choosing a major can be a stressful decision, especially when it’s tied to career exploration. It’s important to remember that in many instances, your major is not directly tied to your career path. There are history majors working in marketing and computer science majors employed in the finance industry. Your degree and your life experiences such as involvement in campus organizations, community service, classroom projects, and internship/work roles, will be valuable to employers, regardless of your major.
Give thought to the following questions as you consider your major:
1. What are my interests and passions?
Try to look beyond your interest in athletics or hobbies and think bigger picture. Do you like learning about business? Are you concerned about climate change and the environment? Do you love drawing and painting? Think about what energizes you and what you enjoy doing so much that you lose track of time.
2. What kinds of classes did I enjoy and do well in in high school?
Were you especially good at math and enjoy anything to do with numbers? Did you enjoy writing stories for the school newspaper or taking pictures for the yearbook? It’s likely that you did well in many different classes, but consider not only where you excelled academically but also what subjects you found most interesting and engaging.
By exploring your answers to these questions, you will be in a better position to begin considering options for your major and making an informed decision.
Exploring Your Strengths and Interests
A critical first step in determining what you want to do after graduation is to explore your individual strengths and interests. Our Career Coaches are your best resource as you begin exploring your interests and determining next steps.
We coach by industry cluster (more below) rather than academic major. This approach allows you to think about opportunities across a variety of fields that you might not have considered. Coaches can help you develop a plan to learn more about these fields so that you can identify potential career paths of greatest interest.
First-year students and others who have not been to our office are encouraged to visit with our coaching staff during walk-in hours, held daily during the academic year. No appointment is needed.
If your questions require more time than can be answered during the initial walk-in session, you can request to schedule a one-on-one coaching appointment. Call our office at 615-322-2750 to request an appointment.
The Center offers a variety of formal and informal assessment tools that help clarify your interests, strengths, personality preferences, and values. Career assessments and exercises can also be beneficial in identifying themes and patterns in your life that offer clues for career direction. Coaches are available to meet with you and make recommendations regarding assessments that will be of most value.
Surveying the Field
Once you have some insight into your preferences, we encourage you to begin researching various industries that interest you to determine how your interests align with professional opportunities. At this point, you do not want to get too wrapped up with in-depth examinations of a specific industry or company. Your goal should be to gain a basic feel for the type of work you want to be doing.
As you go through the exploration process it’s important that you allow yourself the freedom to change your mind about anything at this point. This process should be fun, energizing, and exciting.
Participate in Industry Clusters
We divided the world of work into seven different groups, or industry clusters. The cluster(s) you may be involved with might be independent from your major. Once you have a basic understanding of your preferences, we encourage you to participate in one or more of these clusters.
Each of the clusters offers tailored programs, events, workshops, and coaching as well as a listserv email with internship and job postings and other industry-specific news.
Click on the industry tab below to be taken to the cluster page. Each page contains information and resources to help you learn more about those specific industries.
A great way to find out if you would like a particular job or career is to ask someone who is already doing that type of work. MORE ›
Are you exploring the possibility of creating your own business? Our entrepreneurship page has information and resources to help you decide if entrepreneurship is right for you. MORE ›