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  • Allison Lai

Does Your Career Goal Align with Your Major?

In 2020, BestColleges conducted a survey and asked how college graduates felt about their major and career path. In that survey, 61% of respondents said that they would go back and change their undergraduate studies if they had the opportunity. This means these graduates felt that their majors did not align with their desired career path and that there was a degree of dissatisfaction from their major.

This is important to consider: Why are you an X major?

Most students might not be able to answer this question. Some might be motivated by monetary gain. Others perhaps feel compelled by their family to pursue a certain career. Maybe they are scared that an “undesirable” major might not allow them to succeed after graduation. There are many reasons and all of them are valid.

However, it’s up to you to figure out your truth. But how do you do it?

1. Talk to a career counselor at your university

This tip is obvious but it deserves it’s spot on the list. At Baruch, we have access to an amazing career counseling center called the STARR center. They have experienced counselors and mentors who have seen and helped hundreds of students figure out their career goals (and resume/interviewing skills).

Reach out and schedule a meeting with a career counselor and work with them to help you uncover your goals. They will help you weed out the messy information and direct you toward a path that might be a better fit based on your goals and interests.

2. Apply for internships/co-ops

It’s important to have internships under your belt because it is a great way to bulk up your resume and to gain new experiences in a real-world setting. However, an important benefit of internships is that you can test out whether or not you would like to work in a certain role.

For example, I came into Baruch under the impression that I would work in finance or accounting because those were the majors that would lead to more monetary gain and success. It seemed that everyone was a finance or accounting major and it makes sense because those are the most popular for a good reason.

When I did my first internship in accounting and another in a finance role, I quickly realized that I hated it. I used this experience to identify what I liked and what I disliked about working in finance/accounting—and I decided to pivot towards a new direction in order to discover my true calling.

The importance of internships is that you are learning and figuring out what you want to do. And if you learn that you don’t like something, then use that to make a change. Realize your strengths and weaknesses. Look for a role that satisfies your interests and skills.

3. Talk to an alumni or mentor!

More likely than not, if you reach out to an alumni, then you will meet people who had similar experiences or great advice to impart. Connect with Baruch alumni who are have a similar background as yours—you can find this by connecting on LinkedIn!

Or talk to a senior or junior at Baruch! Reach out to students and learn about their motivations and decisions. You can learn from each others’ experiences.

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