Have you ever wondered if there was a course you could take that was tailored specifically to students needing help with choosing their major, or even better yet, what to do with their major?  Well if you have, you’re in luck here at Oregon State University. Career Decision Making is the name of the course recommended to first and second year students who don’t know what it is they want to do yet. It’s not just a class we offer here at Oregon State, but a process to help guide you in making probably one of the biggest and most important decisions of your life, choosing a major and a career path.

The course is designed to help students gain a better understanding of their interests, values, and abilities as they relate to the world of work. The class is taught by the UESP (University of Exploratory Studies Program) advisors. It provides freshman and sophomores here with a guided career exploration in a classroom environment. Class meetings are held two times per week, one of those times being with a large group of students for a lecture and the other day they meet with a smaller group, usually around  fifteen students, for recitation.

Of course everyone wants to have their dream career after finishing college, but it’s not a reality for most people. Students who are uncertain about their career or major could benefit from taking our Career Decision Making course. The purpose is to help students explore their options in a supportive environment without embarking on an unknown journey all alone.

During the first four weeks of class, students learn about self assessment through a decision making model. Self-assessment includes taking assessments like the Strong Interest Inventory© and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator© to help clarify personal interests and preferences. Weeks five through eight, students are involved in the exploration of academic and career options. Then, weeks nine and ten, students finally take action and make decisions!

The course also offers beneficial information about OSU’s on campus resources to help guide students in their career decision making process once the course has ended. One of the main on campus resources stressed to students during the course is Career Services. Career Services offers career counseling which helps students continue their exploration process, they also provide mock interviews, Career Fairs in the Fall, Winter, and Spring terms, resume, cover letter, reference page, and curriculum vitae help and much more!

I have interviewed one of our very own Career Assistants from Career Services here at Oregon State University, Samantha Kerzel, about her experiences with this course. “Before this class I was a UESP (University Exploratory Studies Program) student, taking lots of BAC classes to help with my search. However, without the resources we utilized, I would not have declared a major in English the following term, and would not know that I want/need to attend graduate school.” Sami also states that the course recommended she stop in to Career Services to get help from a career counselor with the brainstorming process of a future career. “I would definitely recommend this course to students who are either undecided, or trying to figure out if their major is right for them, because it really makes you reflect and decide on career that is a good fit. I would not, however recommend this class to someone who is not going to take it seriously, and who is expecting someone to tell them what job to do.” I hope Sami’s success story with this course and the information provided on it will help you students out there struggling with declaring a major to find one that fits best for you. Good luck!


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