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Career Planning & College Majors

Remember the elementary school assignment where you had to answer the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  Well, now is the time to take that question seriously.
If you're not sure what you want to do for a career yet, that's ok!  This section of the Prospect Guidance/College & Career Center website will help you jumpstart your career and college major planning.
What is Career Planning and Why Now?
Career planning is a process that begins even before high school and should continue throughout the college years, and perhaps even through some of your adulthood.  As your grow, develop and expose yourself to more classes and opportunities, you will continue to rethink and reevaluate yourself, your skills, and your career options.  For now, one of best ways to start figuring out what you want to do is to begin the process of self-exploration.  This means giving yourself time to think about our skills, abilities, interests, personal preferences, and life experiences.  All of which shape who you are, what you are good at doing, and where your interests lie.
Starting your Sophomore year at Prospect, you will take several personality and career interest profiles on Naviance Family Connection to help you determine where your strengths are; and to match those strengths and interests to careers and occupations.
Your high school years are also a time to explore and learn more about yourself.  During high school you should:
  • Take lots of classes to learn subjects - even something you've never done before
  • Learn and develop new skills by joining clubs or a sports teams
  • Explore career options.  Talk to teachers, guidance advisors, parents and friends.  Use Naviance Family Connection to research careers that interest you.
  • Find a part-time job or volunteer opportunity to allow you to try different careers
What is a college major?
A major is a specific subject you will specialize in while obtaining your college degree.  Typically, about half of the courses you take in college will relate to your major and prepare you for a certain career.  By completed a major you have demonstrated high-level work in a subject.  Examples of majors include:  Agriculture, Communication, Business Marketing, Biomedical Engineering, Sports Management, and Food Science.  
You can view a list of majors and degrees awarded at colleges on Naviance Family Connection (go to the "colleges" tab, select or search for a specific college.  Once you are viewing a school's profile, you will see a dark gray rectangle labeled "Majors and Degrees".  Select that to view the majors and degrees at that particular college.)
Some colleges require you to declare (decide) a college major as soon as possible, while others allow you to remained undecided for a year (or maybe two).  Be sure you understand what the effects are if you do not decide on a major right away.  For example, will you need to take additional courses?  Will it be more difficult to get into classes?  Will it delay when you graduate?
*  Naviance Family Connection (go to the "careers" section and start exploring!)
*  BigFuture by The College Board (great supplement to Naviance; explore colleges and careers) 
Career Planning

Here are the steps to get you on your way to finding out what your passion is, and how to apply that to a career and occupation:

1. Get to know yourself

What do you enjoy doing? What do you taking pride in doing?

2. Identify Options

Which careers match your interests and skills?

3. Research

What kind of training do you need for your career? Which college major(s) match my career of interest? Which colleges offer that major?

4. Goal Setting

Set goals and identify the steps (and timeline) to meet those goals and move forward