How to Choose a Major or Training Program

Download our free eBook Choose a College Major Based on Your Personality

Wondering how to choose a major or training program? Find a major that matches your Holland personality type and interests. Research and common sense show that it is vital.

Not sure of what a college major is? Or, why you should consider choosing one before you choose a college to attend? Read this.

Four Steps to a Good Match and Decision

Step 1. Take a scientifically valid career interest inventory like The Career Key's career test.

  • Measure your strengths in 6 interest areas, called the Holland personality types or "Holland Codes": Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional
  • Identify careers and college majors that match your dominant personality types.

Avoid invalid measures that can mislead you.

Take the Career Key Test   »

Here are examples for each type:

Step 2. Identify the majors or instructional programs that match your strongest personality types.

Step 3. Learn as much as you can about the majors and instructional programs you identify.

You will learn a great deal about the careers and majors you identify when you take the Career Key test. In addition, you want to,

  • Talk to people in the fields that interest you. Discuss your questions and concerns with them. Ask them what training programs or college majors prepare people for their work. Ask them for the names of other people with whom you can talk.
  • Research the opportunities for studying in your areas of interest. Where are the schools or training programs located? Are there distance learning options? Entrance requirements? Cost? Graduation rate?
  • Read Learn about College Majors or Training Programs for many other valuable strategies.

Step 4. Make a good decision. It's a life-changing choice.

Use the ACIP method of deciding. It is simple and effective. Studies show that if you follow it, you are less likely to regret your choice later.

Actually, by following the steps we have described here, you have already started using it!

Final Tips

  1. Be an active decision-maker. You are the one who will have to live with your decision. Follow the ACIP method of deciding described above.
  2. Don't sell yourself short. Self-confidence plays a big role in making a career choice, in succeeding in school and at work. You can do far more than you ever imagined.
    Speaking personally, I never dreamed that I had the ability to earn a doctorate degree, to do what I am doing. Fortunately, I met people who encouraged me; slowly I gained confidence... (see My Story).
  3. Associate with positive people -- people who listen; who are practical, knowledgeable, and cheerful; who will encourage you, help you.
  4. Be an active learner, grow as a person. Read. Learn from others. Travel. Meet people different from yourself. Do well in school.

Look over the self-help articles in the left hand navigation bar and our Site Map to find those that best fit your needs.

They are all based on the best practices and science in the field.