You Can Always Change Your Mind (Major).
Considering the University of Central Florida offers 101 bachelor degrees; how is one to choose? Most students begin college with some idea of what they want to study, but it is not uncommon for them to change majors. My own children; I have 3, each changed majors at least once….so far. My son found that he enjoyed the economics classes far more than some of the finance classes and switched from finance to an economics junior year. Many of my friends have told me that their kids decided against a career in medicine after a few chemistry classes which, in turn, meant a major change as well. I used to envy those students who knew exactly what they wanted to do with their lives and stuck with it, but then I learned to appreciate the opportunity to explore and possibly find something new that maybe just where they needed to be.
Changing and choosing a major isn’t always easy. There are several ways you can support your student as they are trying to decide or as they consider possibly changing their major. One of the main reasons students reconsider or hesitate to declare is because they do not understand the career options associated with the major. This can be a tricky topic because a major alone does not always prescribe a specific career path. However, it is often helpful to read about options other students have pursued to get ideas for their future. Encourage your student to visit the Career Centers or its website, to utilize online resources like Career Guides that walk students through selecting a major, Match Major Sheets that help students explore career options once they have decided on a major, and online databases for career outlook information.
UCF also offers MEP, the Major Exploration Program, which allows students to participate in a variety of activities in which they are taught how to evaluate and use the results of academic and occupational assessments in selecting and possible careers. They receive information and guidance through individual academic advising appointments, workshops, seminars, and collaborative partnerships as well.
Changing a major doesn’t have to be a “major” ordeal either. I, personally, recommend a conversation with an academic advisor before doing so, but the process is now online through myUCF. This document with complete step-by-step directions may help as well.
Students may also want to consider adding a minor or certificate. The difference between the two is the number of credits. Minors are 15 credits or more with 12 of those credits being earned at UCF and certificates are less than 15 credits.
There are so many classes out there that may change their lives, but they won’t know until they take them. Spending a little time surveying, investigating and exploring can lead to some eye-opening adventures and life-changing discovery. Now is the time to do it.
Another great way to narrow down it all down is to get an internship. First-hand knowledge is priceless. And…A select number of majors at UCF are eligible to receive internship credits ranging from 1-6 credit hours per semester. Students should speak to their advisor and fill out an internship form by their employer and academic advisor BEFORE the first week of the fall semester. Check out our blog in Finding an Internship here.