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Exploring majors

Learn about VT majors.

Choosing your major.

What VT grads do with majors.

What can I do with my major?

Your major matters, but you are much more than just your major! When you seek a post-grad job, employers will look at your extracurricular activities, your experience related to your career interests, and more. Major alone won't get you hired. The sum-total of your experience, in and out of the classroom, will help determine your opportunities. Keep the big picture in mind as you explore majors.

Some helpful articles:

When researching majors, you will want to speak with multiple people to gather as much information and perspectives as possible. Consider identifying your top 2-3 questions from each of the categories below to ask academic advisors, faculty, students, alumni, and career advisors.

General:

  1. Why should I consider this major?
  2. If this is a restricted major, what do I need to do to be a competitive internal transfer?
  3. What is expected of students entering this major (skills, time commitment, attitude)?
  4. What Pathways or other introductory courses do you offer that will help me explore this major?
  5. What type of coursework and projects (essays, papers, group projects, research, assignments) can I expect in the courses for this field?
  6. What skills will I gain as a result of being in this major?
  7. I am a creative person. Is there a major in your college/school where I could utilize my creativity?
  8. What minors does this college/school offer? What minors do students in this college/school typically pursue?
  9. What minor(s) would make me stand out in this major?

What opportunities does this department offer for:

  1. Scholarships?
  2. Internships/co-op/field study/experiential learning?  If so, is it required?  How will the college/school assist me in finding one?
  3. Clubs, organizations, and/or student associations?
  4. What other opportunities exist for leadership or involvement in the department?

What are the academic advising procedures of the college, school, or department?

  1. Who are the advisors (professors or professional advisors)?
  2. Are students advised individually or in groups?
  3. When and how often are students expected to meet with their advisors?
  4. Do I need to attend an information session for this major?

Career topics

  1. What kinds of careers have alumni pursued with this major?
  2. What might be some unexpected careers alumni pursued with this major?
  3. How does this major help prepare students for the obvious careers (e.g. CS for computer programming)?
  4. And the not-so-obvious ones (e.g. biology for lawyer, history for business manager)?
  5. What career-related skills can I expect to gain as a result of this major?
  6. Is graduate study or professional school required or suggested to pursue career fields related to this major?
  7. How can I get in contact with current students or Virginia Tech alumni to talk about their experiences in the major or real-world success with this major after graduation?

We ask all new VT grads to tell us their first destination after the undergraduate degree. [This does not tell us the longer term career path that each graduate takes!]

What can I do with this major?
CPD has purchased this resource for use by VT students, to be accessed from the CPD website (so if you try to bookmark the web address, that won't give you access).

Learn about career areas and employers that hire people with each major, and strategies to make you a more marketable candidate.

  • Pre-Education Advising Program
    Advising for undergraduate students who wish to pursue teaching or school counseling. Includes undergraduate majors and graduate-level teacher education programs for various teaching subjects, and teaching licensure information. Most teaching licensure requires graduate education after the bachelor's degree.
  • Health Professions Advising (HPA) is located in Career and Professional Development and provides detailed information and support on  undergraduate coursework and other preparation for many health professions that require education beyond the bachelor's degree.

Of course no one else can make decisions for you, but they can offer you valuable advice and perspective so that your decisions are based on more complete information. You'll formulate the best questions with some advance research.

Advising in the university:

Working world information sources: