Tuesday, February 7, 2017

New Year, New…. Major?

Welcome back to campus everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful break filled with Netflix and long overdue sleep. For this post, I have been thinking about the new year and what that means for different people. While some feel relief that the stress of holidays is over, others are dreading the return of classes and busy work schedules. Regardless of your feelings towards the new year, remember it is a source of renewal and desire for change. In other words, this is the perfect time to start something new. And what could be more new than switching your major? It can be scary to feel as if you are starting over, but the career center is here to help!

Here are 5 tips to switching your major:

1. Do your research!
If you want to switch majors, you need to learn as much as possible about the program. This means researching online and talking to people. Find other students in that major and they will give you honest answers about what’s it is like to be in their classes. Look up what people with that major typically do as professionals. Furthermore, find out the average salary of the field. If it is not something you will be happy with, then you need to think carefully before switching. In addition, see what certifications or licenses you may need. Is graduate school an option you want to consider? Most importantly, look at why you want to switch and evaluate your new major.

2. Talk to your academic advisor.
Your advisor is an essential resource to use. They can determine if any of your classes count towards your new major, or if you will need to spend extra semesters here. If you want additional advice, a career counselor will be happy to sit down with you, too! They can be especially helpful in suggesting career goals if you are struggling.

3. Consider adding an additional minor.
There is no denying that the more advanced you are in school, the harder it will be for you to switch. I suggest that keeping your major and adding a minor may be the best route for you. This can be ideal because it shows you to be well rounded to employers, and ultimately make you a more competitive candidate.

4. Fill out the proper forms.
If you have decided that switching your major is the right move for you, there are a couple of steps to complete. Hofstra requires that you submit a Change of Education form to the Office of Academic Records and Registrar. This is easily downloaded by googling “change major at Hofstra.” The office is located at 206 Memorial Hall on South Campus. To switch, the chair of your new department needs to sign the form. By doing so, they can make sure you are aware of the requirements of the new program. You do not need to get a signature from the department you are leaving. However, if you are making the switch this semester, be aware of deadlines! Friday, February 24th is the last day you can register or add new classes.

5. Remember your major does not define your career!
One of the hardest realizations of college is understanding that your major does not define your life. Students often stress that by choosing their major, they have sentenced themselves to a lifetime in a certain area. This could not be further from the truth! What employers care about are your life experiences, i.e. clubs, teams, organizations, and internships. Anything can give you experience and make you a valuable employee.

~Wishing you all the best of luck this semester~

Kristi Riecker 
Career Fellow 

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