Things you need to know
Generally speaking, it's always better to major in the subject that interests you most and that you will enjoy studying. You rarely gain enough depth of knowledge with an undergraduate program to limit your career choices.
Most employers are more interested in the practical skills you have on your resume than in your major; therefore, you should major in something that allows you enough time to participate in résumé-building extra-curriculars and internships. Most graduate programs are more interested in your academic strength (GPA) than your major; therefore, your major should be one in which you can excel.
- See what jobs W&M students got after graduating; you will find English majors who became physicians, Business majors who became teachers, Philosophy majors who became technology managers. The extra-curriculars, summer jobs and internships you participate typically have a greater influence on what your first postgraduate job will be than your major. Talk to W&M alumni about their majors; talk to upperclassmen here on campus about why they enjoy their majors.
Self-knowledge and reflection are important components of major and career exploration. Ask yourself:
What things, ideas, concepts, etc. are important to me?
What classes, people, subjects, professors interest me?
What do I do well?
As well as . . .
- How do I learn best?
- In what past or present courses have I done well? What have I liked and disliked?
- In what activities am I or have I been involved? What did I like and dislike?
- What kinds of jobs have I had? What did I learn about myself?
- Other relevant information: parents, friends, important people.
A network of over 3000 William & Mary alumni who are willing to talk to students about their majors and careers.
- Advisor: Talk with your current academic advisor or schedule an appointment with academic advising.
- Faculty: Talk with faculty who teach classes within the major you are considering to find out more about what is involved in that course of study.
- Students: Talk with upperclassmen in the major you are considering to find out what the major has to offer from their point of view. Contact the Director of the Peer Advising Program if you need help connecting with students in your prospective major.
- Career Counselor: Make an appointment to speak with a career counselor. Call (757) 221-3231.