How I Decided to Change My Major

The first thing to consider when changing your major is RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. There is no harm in constantly looking into what your plan is following graduation.

One thing I want to note is that classes do not equal career. I realized pretty early on in the semester that I didn’t enjoy the classes I needed to fulfill my original major’s requirements. The next step I took was Changing Majors | Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success | Michigan Technological Universityto look at college websites and simple Google searches to see what I could do with my current degree and if any of the careers sounded interesting to me. After realizing that they did not fully interest me, I decided then that I wanted to change my major.

Once I decided I wanted to change my major, I looked into classes and experiences that I enjoyed in high school and college so far. For me, that was history classes, reading, and writing. Even though I hadn’t wholly chosen what I wanted to major in, I still put it into the Degree Evaluation to see if I could still graduate within four years so that I didn’t lose my scholarships and I would not have to pay extra tuition. 

Another critical point to note is that I was going to base changing my major on the career I wanted post-degree and not only classes I was taking. Because of that, I made a point of figuring out what I wanted from a career. (There are no wrong values.) Mine were having enough money to be financially stable where I could not worry about going into debt and paying off student loans at a good pace. The ability to get a job was necessary; how many openings for the jobs with that degree occur every year; that the job interested me to the point that I wasn’t going to burn out quickly. And finally, the ability to either have a solid base of finances so that I could travel or a job containing elements of travel. 

Following that list, I looked into careers I could get with a history degree. Would that career require a master’s degree? How much would it pay? A lot of jobs in history are very competitive and do not always have high annual salaries. That research made me realize that I liked history and could still get a bachelor’s degree in history and maybe get a master’s degree in another field. I then looked at multiple large public universities, read through their graduate programs, and came up with a couple of exciting ideas. (for each of 

Laura Zirngible

Laura Zirngible

those options, I did similar research where I looked and annual salaries and the number of job openings each year).

The next thing I did was schedule a meeting with Laura Zirngible in the Career Center to discuss majors through a major exploration appointment. In the meeting, I discussed my likes as well as my concerns regarding changing to a humanities major, specifically a history major, and would it be a practical degree. I then took the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) test that uses your interests and personality traits to see what careers suited you. 

After that meeting, I had decided to change my major. After that decision, I contacted a professor in the history department to see if I had to complete any other forms besides the Major-Change Form. After she responded, I contacted my academic advisor to let her know I was changing majors and then filled out the form to the registrar. What a huge sigh of relief!

By Emma Seehafer
Emma Seehafer Career Assistant