It can be hard to settle on a career path right out of high school, and a lot of students start off with an undeclared major. And that's fine - you can use a semester or two of general education requirements to help discover what's best for you. But settle on a major as soon as possible. Choosing a major and applying for admittance to the right program can save you valuable time and money by helping you graduate sooner.
Explore Your Options
The first step is deciding what your goal is after college or training. You can start by talking to an enrollment advisor at your school, or meeting with academic advisors in a few different areas that interest you. If you are going to college, try taking general education classes that overlap with one or more fields that you think you may want to major and eventually work in.
You can research careers and programs of study with the Alaska Career Information System (AKCIS). AKCIS has interactive quizzes, called assessments, which match you to occupations with similar interests, skills, and work values.
AKCIS provides comprehensive information on almost any career field including:
- how much it pays
- the best degree (training) needed to be competitive in this field
- the future outlook both in Alaska as well as nationally
Program and/or School Type
Choosing the school and program of study you need is simplest if you know what career you want to pursue. A career goal can also determine what level of education you need to be qualified in the field. Some occupations require specific certifications and training hours, while others may require advanced degrees. If you know what degree you need, you can narrow your list of choices.
The best preparation for a specific career can be:
- an apprenticeship program
- a vocational, trade, or career school
- a two-year or community college
- a four-year college or university
If you haven’t chosen a career yet, but know you want to continue your education, you can start a general education curriculum at a two- or four-year college or university. Choose a school that offers several majors you think you may be interested in, and make use of resources available to help you choose a major.