On Choosing a Career

Our late teens and early twenties are filled with uncertainty. We are still figuring out who we are and what we want to do with our lives. As if this wasn’t enough, we usually have to make one of the biggest decisions of our lives: choosing a major. Now, if you’re reading this, you’re probably already in uni and have chosen a major, or maybe you’ll have to choose it further down the track. Either way, the first major we enroll into is not necessarily the one we’ll enjoy the most. It is perfectly fine to have second thoughts even once you’ve started uni!

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I was completely lost when I first started my studies, didn’t have a clue of what I wanted to do. Starting a degree in Maths was my first decision because I did well at school math and I kind of liked it. After starting, I discovered that it was nothing like school and I was not enjoying it. Because of this, I started looking into different majors to transfer to, and Computer Science or Engineering looked really nice. I did a bunch of research and talked to a few friends that studied these. I analysed the pros and cons of each, and ended up transferring to Computer Science. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made! So if you’re not feeling your current degree, there’s nothing wrong about looking for other options! Here are some steps I took when deciding to make the switch.

Make a list of possible career choices

Making a list of the majors that you like most will save you a lot of hassle. Think about your interests and try to relate those to some degrees! When I was thinking about switching, I always thought about Engineering or Science majors because those are the type of things I like. I also completely suck at Arts, so that made it a little easier. There is a couple of online tools that you can use such as My Big Tomorrow or Career Quiz. After making a list of potential careers, do some research and consider the pros and cons of each. Try to narrow down your list to 2 or 3 options that interest you the most.

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Take related electives

Taking an elective in another field of study is a great way to gain some insight about them. It’s like a sneak peek into a new career! Choosing electives will let you get a little taste of the areas you’re interested in without committing fully. You’ll also see the working methodology of other degrees and see whether you like it or not. I took a programming elective that helped me make the final decision of transferring to Computer Science.

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Talk to people that study other careers

Another way to gain some more information about other degrees is to talk to people that study them. You probably have a friend or family member that studies or studied that degree. Reach out to them and ask them questions. Ask them about the pros and cons, what is a typical day at uni, etc. Bonus points if you can find someone actually working on the field you’re considering. You can also take a look at successful people with that career for inspiration!

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Finding a degree can be very complicated business. But don’t feel bad if your first choice isn’t the best one! It’s never to late to make a change for the better. And don’t be afraid to make the change, it will definitely be worth it! If you are unsure of what decision to take, always talk to your friends and family. They will surely give you some valuable advice. You can also talk to the SDAs if you are feeling a little bit overwhelmed. They provide great support and can help you with nearly any problem! I hope that you all find the path you are after, whatever that is. See you in another post!

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Alejandro