Choosing a major (and career!) is an important decision for college students. Depending on your future career goals, a specific major may be required, but for others, it may not. Your choice of major is only one aspect of your experience and how you gain qualifications for a future profession.
All students are strongly encouraged to participate in co-ops and internships during their time at Georgia Tech, which will complement what you are learning in the classroom. Further, it is a great opportunity to see if various majors/careers are a good fit for you.
Tips For Exploring Majors and Careers
Reflect on your interests, skills, abilities, and work values.
- What do you feel drawn to learn?
- What courses have you excelled in during high school and college?
- What type of organization would you like to work for? How might your values align with theirs?
- Do you like to be hands-on or at a desk? …working with teams or with others? …working independently to complete a task?
Identify majors/minors available to you.
Review Departmental websites to identify required courses.
- Do these courses sound interesting to you? Consider auditing a course if you are unsure.
- If these courses sound interesting, great! You may have to take a few courses you do not like as a part of the major requirements, but if you notice many you would not enjoy taking, make note of that. Perhaps it is not the right major for you.
- Schedule a meeting with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, attend faculty office hours, and meet other staff to learn more about courses, research, and other available opportunities.
Talk to upperclassmen.
- Ask what courses they enjoyed and why they picked that major. Try to talk to a few students who have done internships/co-ops to explore your options.
Use LinkedIn’s Alumni Tool to identify alumni who graduated from various majors.
- View top employers by major or filter by several other fields: location, skills, what they do, etc.
Below are some additional resources that can help you explore common careers tied to your major and additional careers that may not require a specific major or academic training:
- What can I do with this major? (coming soon)
- USG Career Resource Planning Platform (Steppingblocks)
- Firsthand (formerly Vault) Career Guides
- Occupational Outlook Handbook
- O*NET Interest Profiler
- GA Futures
Lastly, go into CareerBuzz and other job boards early. Do any positions that interest you require a certain major? Be aware that many employers are open to multiple majors for the same position. While reviewing job descriptions, make sure to note what other skills and qualifications are required. Employers and graduate schools seek well-rounded candidates who have engaged in student activities, research, volunteering, co-ops/internships, study abroad, and other experiences.
What is Exploratory Advising?
Exploratory Advising is a process that focuses on cross-curricular academic advising, career assessment, guided exploration of majors and careers, and programming to allow students opportunities to interact with advisors, faculty, upper-class students and professionals from different fields; our students can discover their passions and make an informed decision on a major.
Who Can Benefit from Exploratory Advising?
Exploratory Advising is for students who are:
- Interested in changing their major, or
- Considering adding a minor or certificate, or
- Completely undecided, or
- Unsure if their current major is a good fit
Visit the Exploratory Advising page for more information and to set up an appointment.
Career assessments can help you evaluate your personality, interests, and values as you explore various majors and careers. No one test can indicate a specific major or career you should pursue, but it can provide further clarity on what may be a good fit for you.
The GT Career Center recommends and provides the following assessments:
- O*NET Interest Profiler
- Career One Stop Assessments
- TypeFocus – evaluates aspects of personality, interests, skills, and values to help provide guidance around finding a fit. Students can take the assessment and talk through their results with a member of the Career Center staff to discuss how to implement the knowledge gained in a job search.
- Strong Interest Inventory (SII) – The SII identifies areas of interest that overlap between you and a variety of professionals who identify satisfaction in their careers. Having common interests may be indicative of whether or not a certain occupation may be a good fit for you. Students interested in taking the Strong Interest Inventory pay a nominal fee of $30 and must sign up for a time to meet with a Career Development Advisor or Career Educator for interpretation. Contact the GT Career Center at email@example.com and instructions will be sent to take the assessment.
Firsthand (formerly known as Vault) is a subscription service that the Career Center provides for students of Georgia Tech. Use your GT email to create an account and find downloadable resources to help build a foundation for industry knowledge and the job search process.
Industry Guides cover many popular industries as well as a variety of less well-known professions (listed under “Other Industries”) and sectors. Specifics of job/position descriptions are explained in some of the guides. Students will find the guides helpful for creating insightful questions for an informational interview and preparing for job interviews.
Firsthand has a reputation as a highly respected resource for information about Consulting, in addition to Law and Banking. Firsthand annually ranks the top, boutique, best in practice areas, and best to work for companies, including other criteria as well.
Students exploring majors and searching for internships and full-time positions will benefit from starting their research with this resource. If needed, students can find more detailed resources through the Georgia Tech Library or sector- or industry-specific publications. Lastly, networking and speaking with someone employed in the industry can also contribute valuable insight. (See Networking and Informational Interviews LINK).
Advice Guides include guidance for topics like case interviewing, networking, and resume writing. These are also covered in Career Center workshops and through 1:1 advising appointments with a career advisor or career educator.
Pre-Graduate and Pre-Professional Advising
Interested in going to graduate school, medical school, or law school? Want to be a teacher? Want to apply to be a Fulbright scholar? Georgia Tech’s Pre-Graduate and Pre-Professional (PGPP) Advising team has dedicated staff to help you along every stage of your journey.
PGPP works with students who choose to attend professional or graduate school or pursue prestigious fellowships. We support students and alumni considering careers in academia, health, teaching, and other fields. Our programs and advisors encourage students to reflect on their knowledge, skills, experience, and strengths to determine the best path forward to their immediate and long-term goals.
Visit the PGPP website to learn more or to schedule an appointment with an advisor.
Georgia Tech Student Organizations
Georgia Tech’s students are among the best and the brightest, and there are many (continually evolving) options to get involved in student groups and campus programs that will allow you to explore your major and career interests. A full list of student organizations can be found on the Engage website (search by keyword or filter), including these historically active organizations: