Dispel Myths about Choosing a Major

Let’s dispel some of the common myths about majors and careers.

False! At least 50% of students enter college not knowing their major! Many students who come into Western with an idea for their major may change their minds.

False! Western has plenty of opportunities for students to take elective courses and even minor in an area of interest. In addition, Western’s General University Requirements (GURs) provide students the opportunity to take classes across a wide range of departments and subject areas.

False! This is not true for most majors at Western. Majors such as those in the sciences, engineering, fine and performing arts, languages, and business have a number of prerequisite courses that you should begin early in order to graduate on time. In many cases, the prerequisite or required courses in majors you are exploring can also count as GUR courses. We recommend you explore majors while working on your GURs

False! In fact, graduates with a Bachelor's degree can work in many different fields, regardless of major. There are only a few careers that require specific majors, such as accounting or engineering. You will find that most employers hire well rounded, skilled people with potential, not majors. Check out "What Can I Do With This Major?" to see the possibilities for various majors. You can also view the WWU Graduate Outcomes Report to find out what recent graduates have done with their degrees.

To increase your opportunities in various fields, you should work on developing the skills that employers are looking for and explore networking or internship possibilities. You can do this with any major, as many skills can be developed outside of the classroom as well.

False! You can always re-evaluate and change your major, even after you have officially declared. Many students decide to change their major after their interests change, they do not perform well academically in their chosen major, or they make decisions about possible careers. This is normal.

What you want to do is make sure that you are re-evaluating earlier rather than later. The longer you wait, the more challenging it will be to change your focus and still graduate in a timely manner. Talk to an advisor as soon as possible if you are thinking of changing majors.

If you want to see how your completed and in-progress coursework could apply to a different major, try out the “What If” function in Degree Works!

False! Humanities and social science majors develop skills that are highly valued by employers and are applicable to a wide variety of professional jobs. These skills allow humanities and social science majors to apply to many different career areas. Finding a job has less to do with what your major is than it does with diligent job search skills and preparation. Humanities and social science majors can help you develop the skills employers look for when hiring.