Explore Majors & Careers
When exploring majors and careers, it is important that you focus on yourself. Some questions to ask yourself may include:
- What do you like doing?
- What do you think your personality type is and how does it relate to careers?
- What skills do you already possess and what need further development?
- What will you find motivating in your future career?
The steps outlined below will help you answer these questions and guide you through major and career exploration.
Step One – Focus on You
Exploring who you are and where you want to go are key steps in discovering a satisfying career. When you take a trip, it is important to use a map. Think of self-assessment as your map – it will help guide you. Self-assessment involves uncovering your personality type, skills, values, and interests. You can work through assessments on each of these areas online or by making an appointment to meet with a career counselor.
Step Two – Choosing a Major – The Keys to Success
First and Foremost – Study What You Enjoy
You’ll be more motivated to get up and go to class if you are interested in what you are studying. To help discover a major of interest:
- Explore various majors of interest in What Can I Do With This Major/Degree?
- Read the course descriptions in Notre Dame’s Bulletin of Information
- Speak with faculty in the various departments you are considering
- Attend the “All Majors Fair” during the spring semester
- Participate in Academic Clubs that interest you
Plan How You Want to Spend Your Years at Notre Dame
Some majors will lead to a direct career path, but most do not. To prepare for future endeavors, think about what you might want to do each summer – relevant summer employment, service, internship, research, and/or fellowship opportunities. What club activities might be of interest to you? What skills would you like to gain the next four years? To help guide you along the way, The Career Center has developed a Four-Year Plan.
Step Three – Exploring Careers
After working through Steps One and Two, it’s time to research careers related to what you’ve learned about yourself. Read about careers of interest, talk to people about what they do, and experience careers through club activities, a volunteer or research position, or an internship or job.
- Read about various careers online using the Vault and O’Net’s Occupation Finder
- Find Professional Association websites related to a career you are thinking about. These associations have invaluable information about careers within their profession. For example, if you’re thinking about becoming a doctor, the American Medical Association’s site has a section called “Becoming an MD”.
- Informational Interviewing is one of the easiest, most effective ways to learn about a career.
- Consider Job Shadowing as a way to learn more about career fields
- Familiarize yourself with the Internship and Job Search sections of our site