Helping Your Student Choose a Major

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Elaine M. Damon, M.S., NCC, LPC, NCC
Career Advisor, Georgia Tech Career Services

For adults, the age old question of “what to major in while at college?” often conjures images of the jobs traditionally linked to specific majors along with the values attached to various professions - prestige, income potential, love of learning, contribution to society, among others. At Georgia Tech, we prepare students for a work world that is likely to be far different and more diversified than when we entered our careers. Your student will be working in industries and professions that have yet to be imagined. What can parents do to support their students in their decision? How does Tech help them choose a rewarding major?

First, encourage your student to become involved in campus activities, to complete internships or co-op rotations, contribute to student chapters of professional associations, and participate in volunteer initiatives as ways of exploring and defining what they enjoy and are good at.

Second, encourage your student to network with alums, professionals in their areas, faculty, upper class students, and teaching assistants, both to learn about the field and to develop skills in connecting with others.

Third, encourage your student to visit Career Services which is a valuable resource for assessments and one-on-one counseling sessions, general topic workshops, company information sessions, interviews, and recruiting. This year’s Majors Fair held on Thursday, October 20, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. is a signature event targeted to first- and second-year students and provides an opportunity for those students to network with and direct questions directly to faculty, alums, and students representing each of the Tech majors.

Finally, after all that “encouragement,” be patient and provide a listening ear. Your student may change his or her major more than once, an indication of exploration and finding the best fit for themselves and their talents. In their first and second years your student is building a base of experience from which to make the best decision about a major that is appropriate for them and the future in which they will be contributing.

For more information on selecting a major, visit Career Services at


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