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Choosing a Major

By choosing WVU, you’ve taken the first step to a personally and professionally fulfilling life after college.

Career Services wants to help ensure your success by guiding you through the entire career development process – from choosing the right major, to identifying a career path that complements your skills and interests, to finding a great internship and ultimately, a rewarding full-time job after graduation. 

The Goal

When you graduate from WVU, we want you to earn what you want, do what you want, and live where you want. But accomplishing that goal requires planning.

Major vs. Career

A major and a career are not the same thing. A major is one of many credentials that employers look for when hiring new employees. Some career paths, such as accounting or nursing, require specific degrees for entry into the field; however, most careers are open to students from a variety of majors, such as communication studies or business management, who have an eagerness and aptitude to learn, are involved in their community, possess a strong work ethic, and can demonstrate sound problem-solving skills.

Exploring Various Career Paths

Learn more about WVU’s 168 undergraduate majors.

What Can I Do With This Major? provides information based on each major offered at WVU: typical careers, employers that hire in each field, and strategies designed to maximize career opportunities.

Explore thousands of careers, including average salaries, required degrees, general job responsibilities, etc. at the ONET Resource Center.

Some Things to Consider When Choosing a Career Path

  • Who are you?
  • Who do you want to be?
  • What are your work values and strengths?
  • There is a certain amount of happenstance involved in everyone’s career path.

What Is a Good Way to Approach This Process?

  1. Gather information about yourself. See the Self-Discovery section below.
  2. Relax. No decision is set in stone. Read Career Myths below.
  3. Realize that it’s a process and takes time and planning. Check out Greater Than a 4-Year Plan, our step-by-step guide to your career success.
  4. There are pros and cons to every decision.
  5. Think about who you are making the decision for. (Yourself, family, friends, etc.)
  6. Use the resources provided by WVU to help you in your decision making process. Start today!

Self-Discovery

Our career counseling team can help you evaluate your skills, interests, and life goals in order to make an informed decision about the right major and career path for you. To get started, you should complete FOCUS2 (access code: mountaineer): a customized online, self-guided, interactive program designed to help you select your college major and plan your career. It will only take 45 minutes of your time, and the information will prove invaluable to your career planning process.

Once you review your FOCUS report, you can schedule an appointment with one of our career planning experts to dig deeper into the results and determine your next steps.

It is important to choose a major early in your academic career so that you will have adequate time to complete all of the requirements of your program and participate in the right experiential learning opportunities (e.g. internships, co-ops, study abroad, volunteerism, etc.).  

Career Myths

  • I’m going to be stuck with this decision for the rest of my life.
  • There is only one right job for each person.
  • The experts can give me a fail-safe test that will tell me what to do.

What If I’m Having A Hard Time Making This Decision?

There are three main reasons why people are unable to make career decisions:

  1. Lack of information.
  2. Inconsistent information. It doesn’t match their situation or reality.
  3. They are truly not ready to decide yet.

A great resource to help work through this issue is the Career Decision-Making Difficulties Questionnaire (CDDQ). Once you’ve completed the online assessment, schedule an appointment with one of our career counselors by calling 304-293-2221.

What If My Parents Don’t Support My Decision?

While your major and career path are ultimately your decision, your family members will likely voice their opinions, particularly if they are providing financial support. To alleviate their concerns and support your decision, you should have a solid plan that demonstrates your career goals and the steps you will take to achieve them. Make sure you have a Plan B in case your first choice does not work out.