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Choosing a Degree or Certificate (choosing a major)

You may be starting college with only a vague idea of what to choose as a major (i.e., degree or certificate) and what to do as a career. If you do select a major early on, you may find that your choice of major will change as you take courses. That’s OK! 

However, if you have a specific area of study that you know you enjoy, declaring a major gives you a goal, keeps you focused and motivates you to study.

Major vs. Career

Your choice of major should reflect a field of study in which you have a genuine and enduring interest. Use the education you get to develop a career that gives you satisfaction.

Many careers in occupational fields don't require specific majors, so you don't have to choose a career that matches your major.

When deciding on a career or major:

  • investigate what skills you will learn in specific fields of study and how they will apply to the career choices you might make later.
  • find something you enjoy doing, and don’t put excessive emphasis on salary and prestige.
  • consider your own talents and interests, rather than letting career fads or courses rumored to be easy dictate your choice.
  • follow your passion; learn what you love to do and go for it.

Career Counseling

Take advantage of PCC’s resources to identify and gain insight into your interests, skills, values, personality and other factors that help you choose a major and set career goals.

  • Use the Career Resources on the MyPima > Student Resources tab
  • Visit a library
  • Meet with a counselor
  • Take STU 100  - College Success & Career Planning
  • Take STU 106  - Choosing a Major & College Success
  • Take STU 107  - University Transfer Preparation & College Success
  • Take STU 109  - Making Career Choices a course that helps you select a major and career.
  • Take STU 150  - Becoming a Master Student a motivational/study skills course that includes how to select a major and career.

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions can help you find interesting and exciting careers and majors. Here's how to do the research:

  • If you plan to transfer to a university, look at its upper-division (300 and 400 course numbers) courses and descriptions.
  • For occupational programs, look at PCC courses above the introductory level.

Other Avenues for Exploring

  • Research several career possibilities and academic majors.
  • Participate in student organizations or volunteer at agencies linked to a major in which you're interested.
  • Shadow someone in your career interest.
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