Considering a Major Change?
With summer and fall registration just a few weeks away, now is the time for students who are thinking of changing a major to investigate the options more closely. Many programs do not accept major changes during registration due to the high volume of students needing registration assistance. With that in mind, it can be beneficial for students to begin conversations with their advisor now.
There are several considerations for students to think about prior to changing their major. First, students should embrace the “right” reasons for selecting an alternative major. For example, the student may have initially selected a major based upon someone else’s suggestion – a relative or a guidance counselor, for example. Now is the perfect opportunity for the student to choose a major based upon what the student finds interesting, motivating, and perhaps more suitable academically. Students are encouraged to meet with an advisor for more detailed information on particular programs.
There are also “wrong” reasons for changing majors. Namely, students often change their major thinking it means more lucrative future or perhaps it’s academically easier. Others may change due to peer pressure or feel that they must obtain one kind of degree when, in fact, they are much better suited for a different field of study.
An important step your student can take now is to meet with an academic advisor (www.advising.gatech.edu/advising_find.php) in the major(s) in which they are interested. This will give your student the opportunity to address concerns about being "behind" in a new major – which is not always the case — and research career options in that major. It is often helpful to ask the advisor to recommend other students in a particular major. Students truly benefit when learning from other students in similar situations.
If your student is unsure how to best select a major and/or career, encourage him/her to explore the Center for Career Discovery and Development at careerdiscovery.gatech.edu, and call 404.894.3320 to make an appointment. In addition, students can begin clarifying career goals, assessing their skills, and finding out about career related work through self-assessment tools. Once the results are available, a qualified career counselor will assist each student through navigating the results of the assessment to make an informed decision regarding their desired major and career path.