Planning
Resources

Lesson 3: The Major Myth

(Paradigm Shift: a change in your thinking) 

Goal

A paradigm is a way of thinking. Often time this way of thinking limits your world view. The goal of this lesson is to introduce the fact that major is at best a secondary issue when doing career planning.

Myth versus Fact

Myth

Fact

1. There's something wrong with me because I haven't decided what I want to major in and what career I want for the rest of my life 1. Pushing yourself to make decisions with out knowing what you really need and want will waste your time in the long run. It's your life and choosing a career is a complex process that takes time
2. My degree is my ticket to the life I want. 2. Your degree is nothing more than another label, like a major; a certificate that you fulfilled a certain number of requirements. What you can do with it depends on how good an education you've had - how much you've learned about yourself, your options, and your world.
3. Choosing a major is a BIG decision, and the major I choose will get me a specific job or career. 3. A major is a label that colleges use to organize programs and students. The same interests could lead to any one of several different majors; the major could lead to a number of different careers; and different majors could lead to the same job.
4. My employer will give me on-the-job-training; all I need to worry about are my courses and grades 4. College offers you many changes to learn what it is like to work and do a job in your career field. Although employers do give new employees on the jog training, they want some evidence that you can do the job, and that you know what you want and how to fit in, andthe you have tested yourself that you are not just book earning and bluster.

Realistic Goals
1. Through dialogue with yourself and others, discover what you really want and what you are really able to do. Do not worry about what others want for you or what you think you should want or should be able to do.
2. Learn how to effectively express and present yourself, your strengths, and your abilities, so you can move from graduation to successful career.
3. By taking advantage of resources the university offers, discover your alternatives - keeping mind the person you are discovering within yourself
4. Use every opportunity the college and community offer to gain experience that will test your interests and preparations, help you impress a prospective employer, and give you a heads start on a satisfying career.
ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM "CAREERISM?"

An idea called CAREERISM has invaded many of today's college campuses. Careerism is when a student mistakenly equates an academic major with one specific career. The fact is, your undergraduate major often does not directly relate to your future career.

Graph #1 - WRONG!

Major1

Graph #2 - CORRECT!

Major2

It is true the most Engineers majored in Engineering, most Accountants majored in Accounting and most Nurses majored in Nursing. However, those examples are considered exceptions to the rule. A study conducted by the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania concluded that even students majoring in the more technically oriented areas possessed skills that easily transferred into other professions. Many technical professions are not so unique after all. The bottom line is no matter what your major, you have a variety of career opportunities. One of the fastest ways that a student can severely limit the exploration process is by falsely accepting the fallacy of "Careerism."

http://www.umanitoba.ca/counselling/careers.html

http://www.udel.edu/CSC/mrk.html

http://www.brandeis.edu/hiatt/hiatt_majors_list.html

http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/counseling/unusual.shtml (Unusual Jobs)

http://content.monstertrak.monster.com/tools/careerconverter/ (Major to Career Converter)

Work sheet #3

1. Below, brainstorm at least 10 possible careers for 3 majors found at Shippensburg University . If you get stuck reference the above web sites to complete the assignment.

2. Below, brainstorm at least 10 possible careers for majors at Shippensburg University that are of interest to you.

3. What surprised you most about this assignment?