College Planning

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What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?


Career Search Sites from OCAN

Career Sites in Specific Fields

Big Future

BigFuture is a website sponsored by CollegeBoard that is dedicated to connecting students to college success and opportunity. BigFuture provides students with a college search tool that allows them to pick and rank the qualities they are looking for in a school to help determine which institutions may be the best fit for them. The site also provides numerous other resources for students such as the College Comparison and the Career and Major Exploration tools, as well as helpful articles on topics such as college applications, financial aid, and ACT/SAT testing.

Ohio Means Jobs

OhioMeansJobs is a career exploration and job search tool sponsored by the State of Ohio. The website features a quiz that can help current and returning students determine which career fields they may be the most interested in, and what jobs are available in that field. It also provides information on the education required for specific careers and how in-demand those positions are in Ohio, as well as additional tutorials on resume writing and interview tips.  OhioMeansJobs’ partnership with companies such as also allows visitors to search the site for available internships, apprenticeships, and job opportunities in the state.  

Choosing a Major

Some students start college knowing exactly what they'd like to major in. Others don't know what to major in, or have a career goal but no knowledge of what majors will get them there. Most find themselves switching majors during college. Here are answers to some important questions to help you decide upon a major in college.

What is a College Major? You're required to major in a specific academic subject (or professional field) to demonstrate sustained, high-level work in one field. Depending on the college, you might be able to major in two fields, have a major and a minor, or even create your own major.

When Should I Declare a Major? At most colleges, you aren't required to declare a major until the end of your sophomore year. If you're in a two-year degree program, you'll probably select a major at the start because your course of studies is much shorter.

How do I choose a Major? First and second-year students usually take more general courses while they try and decide on a major. After this initial "shopping" period, coursework becomes more focused and specific. Make sure that you have genuine interest, though. You don't want to choose a major by process of elimination -- that could take a while. Take courses in areas that appeal to you, then try and focus on a subject that will interest and motivate you. You'll do better, and your motivation will continue through college and work after graduation.

What if I Want to Go to Graduate School? If you think law school, medical school, or grad school is in your future, some schools offer pre-professional majors (such as pre-med or pre-law). Most advisers suggest declaring a "normal" major unless you're set on your plans after college. As long as you fulfill a grad school's course requirements, it really doesn't matter what you major in.

Does My Major Decide My Profession? Sometimes. If you specialize in something like nursing, accounting, or engineering, you are learning a specific trade and will likely continue with that. Most majors, however, prepare you for a range of careers that you can be trained to handle once you graduate. For most students, picking a college major is not the same as picking a career. It will be up to you to pursue what you like. Remember, you're not alone. Choosing a major is usually done with the help of academic and peer advisers.

Adapted from the article "Choosing Your College Major: So, What Are You Going to Do With Your Life?" © 2006 Reprinted with permission. Visit

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