Meet with one of our career counselors to discover how your values, skills, personality, and interests relate to a major or career field. Start exploring on your own with these exercises:

Deciding on a Major or Career Path

Myth #1:"I have to pick the major that directly relates to the career I want to pursue."
With the exception of a few career choices (i.e. nursing, accounting, or engineering), your major will likely allow you to develop the necessary skills to prepare for work in many different industries.
Myth #2:"All of my friends know what they are going to major in."

Statistics show that up to 50% of students are unsure of their major when they enter college.

Myth #3: "Once I declare a major, I will be stuck with it."

50-70% of college students change their major at least once. On average students change their major 3 times before they graduate.

Myth #4: "I can just take that test. It will tell me what I should be."

There is no test that will tell you what career path you should choose, you know yourself better than anyone. There are several individuals and resources that can help you to explore your interests, personality, and skills; but ultimately the expert on you is YOU!

Myth #5: "I should study the job market and pick a major based on the careers with the most rapid growth."

Knowing what's hot in the job market is important information, but job markets can change quickly. Choose a major that fits your skills and interests. Remember—employers hire people NOT majors.

Myth #6: "I do not have a Social Security Number so that means I cannot find employment."

While there are some careers such as government, law enforcement, nursing, and education that require extensive background checks and state certifications, not all fields require a Social Security Number. View career resources for undocumented students. 

Career Exploration Resources

Online Resources
  • What can I do with this major?
    Explore multiple majors to learn about a wide range of career opportunities.

  • Exploring Majors
    Designed to help students research their major options. It includes information about majors, skills, and abilities needed to be successful in the field, and outlines what recent graduates are doing with the major.

  • O*NET
    Contains information on hundreds of occupations and provides career exploration and assessment instruments for professionals and students looking to find or change careers.

  • Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH)
    Covers hundreds of occupations and includes BLS employment projections for the 2010–20 decade.

  • Federal Jobs by College Major
    Allows you to identify opportunities for federal employment. The Federal Resume Guidebook, by Kathryn Troutman is also a good resource.

For more information, review the Know Yourself section of the Career Readiness Guide (PDF).

Mason students working in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum.

Career Assessments

Career assessments can help you make career decisions based on your skills, interests, and personality type.

Personality (MBTI)

Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) can assist you with learning about your personality type and helps you understand:

  • Your motivations, strengths and potential areas for growth
  • How people differ and the unique gifts they contribute
  • How to improve your relationships with others who have differing views
  • Your preferred style of working, studying and relating to others
Interests (SII)

The Strong Interest Inventory (SII) compares your likes and dislikes to those of people in the work force. The SII can help you identify:

  • Type of work activities you might enjoy
  • Work environment you'd be most comfortable in
  • Learning environment is best suited for you
  • Major areas of study you might pursue
  • Professional occupations you might investigate
  • How confident you feel about pursuing various activities.
Skills (SkillScan)

SkillScan assessment tools* can help you with identifying transferable skills and applying the results to career planning, career change, professional development and self-marketing for the job search. You can learn more about skills categories here

*The SkillScan assessment can be done online through Career Driver or in person with your Career Counselor through a card sort activity.

The StrengthsFinder is a web based assessment where the questions are based on the theory of Positive Psychology. Students select descriptors that are anchored along a continuum. The results provide information on the student's top 5 talents which can be translated into the characteristics, attributes and strengths the student possesses. Staff can help students understand how to use this information to explore majors and careers, and prepare for job searching and interviewing.

All assessments include a one-hour interpretation session with a counselor and incur these fees:

Current Students and Recent Alumni
(within six months)

$15 per assessment; MBTI, SII, SkillScan-Career Driver

Current Students
is offered free of charge. Create your account, take the assessment, and bring your top 5 Signature Strengths report with you to your appointment.

Alumni (graduated more than 6 months)
$50 for one assessment (either MBTI, SII, or SkillScan-Career Driver); $75 to take two assessments

Make an appointment to take a career assessment.