Choosing a major | What can I do with my major?
Having questions and
curiousity are good things!
Your major is important, but you as a person are much more than just your major. Once you start the job search, employers will look at your extracurricular activities, your experience related to your career goals (whether paid or not), and much more.
Major alone won't get you hired. The sum-total of your experience, in and out of the classroom, will help determine your opportunities.
On this page:
About the process of choosing
Learn about Virginia Tech majors
What do VT grads do with majors? jobs/employers and grad degrees/schools of new VT grads
Salaries of new VT grads by major
What do I major in if I want to be a teacher?
What do I major in if I want to apply to grad/professional school for a health profession?
More about majors and careers
People who can advise & inform you about majors & careers
common myths about choosing a college major
Straight talk that debunks myths. Example:
Choosing a major and choosing a career are not the same thing.
(although many people think that...).
- Quint Careers.com > Choosing a college major: How to chart your ideal path
First advice: Don't panic!
The process of discovering your career path is a JOURNEY! of many steps!
- Changing majors: Research on impact on graduation rate
[Chronicle of Higher Education]
Research on when and how often students declare or change major and correlation with graduation rates.
- Undergraduate Majors A-Z
For each VT major, overview and career-related information.
- Colleges and departments at Virginia Tech
Read web sites of academic departments offering majors that interest you.
Many provide excellent info about careers associated with the major.
- Major advice for undecided students
[University Academic Advising Center = UAAC, Virginia Tech]
Practical information about majors and minors. UAAC gives ACADEMIC advising to major-undeclared students and provides information and resources for the process of choosing a major, changing major, restricted majors, etc.
- Majors Fair | fall event
[Sponsor: University Academic Advising Center]
Fall event for students who are undecided or considering a major change. Meet representatives of academic departments to learn about majors offered.
The university's official document for specific academic program course requirements.
Post-Graduation Report | after undergraduate degree
[Career Services | Post-Graduation Report | based on survey of all new grads]
- Continuing education:
Grad degrees, programs, institutions of new VT grads by undergrad major.
Employers, job titles, locations of new VT grads by undergrad major.
Salary data for new grads who reported they are employed by college & major.
Median and 25th & 75th percentiles shown where sufficient data exists.
[School of Education at Virginia Tech]
- See School of
Education > Office of Academic Programs and
select "appropriate undergraduate majors," which opens an XLS file.
Shows undergraduate major(s) and graduate-level teacher education program for various teaching subjects. Most teaching licensure requires graduate work/degree.
- See Licensure Programs for teaching, School of Education, Virginia Tech.
If you wish to teach, you should prepare for possible admission to a graduate teaching program; start early in your undergraduate years to prepare.
[Office of Health Professions Advising, Career Services, Virginia Tech]
- The Office of Health Professions Advising [OHPA] (in Career Services) provides detailed information on undergraduate coursework / preparation for each health profession.
[Includes dentistry; allopathic, chiropractic, osteopathic, podiatric, and veterinary medicine; nursing; optometry; occupational therapy; physical therapy; physician assistant; public health; athletic training; clinical lab sciences; pharmacy; M.D./Ph.D. combined programs.]
- See Advisees for information and steps to get started so that the OHPA can assist you in preparing.
- Books in our Career Resource Center
Many books deal with career choices for particular majors.
- What can I do with my liberal arts degree? [pdf]
[U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment.]
- Careers by college major | Browse careers
Enter your college major to find careers. Browse careers to find detailed info.
- College majors and careers
Sample occupations, types of employers, jobs & grad schools attended.
Note: Find same info for VT majors in the Post-Graduation Report, listed above
- Match majors to occupations
[Florida State University]
Pick a major and see sample occupations and additional sources of info.
- Major resource kits
[University of Delaware]
Career options associated with majors.
- What can I do with a major in...
[University of North Carolina at Wilmington]
Job titles, skills and job and internship sources.
- What can I do with this major?
[Sam Houston State University]
- What can I do with this major?
[University of Tennesse, Knoxville]
Tool to learn about career options related to college majors.
Of course no one else can make decisions for you, but they can offer you valuable advice and perspective so that your decisions are based on more complete information. You'll formulate the best questions, and people will be better able and willing to assist you, if you do your research first.
Advising in the university:
- Career Advisors for undergraduate majors
[also called Departmental Career Advisors or DCAs]
Faculty and/or staff in each major academic department whom you can consult about career options associated with their majors.
- Career Services advising
We can help you sort out the decisions you need to make, and help you find and use resources that will help you.
We cannot advise you on course requirements for majors and minors; you must consult the department offering the major or minor.
Working-world information sources:
- Hokie Nation Network
[Virginia Tech Alumni Association]
Professional and social networking for the Virginia Tech community.
Find someone working in a field about which you are CURIOUS. Request an informational interview. How? Professional networking etiquette.
- Job fairs and career fairs
[Each VT-affiliated event is sponsored by a VT college, department, student organization, or alumni chapter. Other beyond-VT organizations sponsor events focused on urban areas or career fields.]
Note purpose and sponsor of each event. Some focus on certain career fields.
Note that the employment world is not organized by major!
Do your homework before going: read each event website to see who's attending and the types of jobs they offer; employers are impressed by students who show up prepared. Then go to learn more first-hand from employers about internships and entry-level career options.
Is there a test I can take to figure out a major or career?
There's help, but it's not technically a test. Self-assessment can help you sort out your skills, interests, values and personality to see how these fit with careers. Determine career options and choose a major to get you there.
Considering grad or professional school?
Planning for graduate or professional school exploring options, choosing schools and programs, and preparing to apply.
Office of Health Professions Advising (OHPA) at Virginia Tech: for any Virginia Tech student planning for graduate/professional education for a health career. Freshmen are encouraged to start preparing in your first year.
Virginia Tech Graduate School: graduate programs offered at Virginia Tech.
Career Services does not own or maintain websites external to career.vt.edu.
We provide links as a service to Virginia Tech students.