My parents want me to major in…

My parents want me to major in… but I have no interest in a career in that field.

We (advisors and faculty) hear this a lot. Here are a few recommendations on how to handle these delicate situations.

Option: If you know what you want to major in, meet with a major advisor, discuss career possibilities within the field, find out about job placement rates of recent graduates and come up with a semester, by semester, academic plan through to graduation. With this information, hopefully you would have the resources and knowledge to speak with your parents about this major and the opportunities it provides.

Option: If you do not know what you want to major it, but you know it is not the major your parents are pressuring you toward, meet with a career counselor to do major exploration. Career centers have numerous activities and resources to assist students in making this decision, and they know the specific major options available on your campus. Once you have some majors in mind, speak with your parents about them, emphasizing those that are better suited for your strengths and interests. Hopefully, you will be able to sway them to relax on their desires and support your choices.

Option: If you have strengths in the field of study your parents are guiding you toward, we recommend you speak with a career counselor about career choices that align with the major; you may be surprised by the options. Also, speak to a major advisor in the discipline to gain deeper insight on the courses required for the degree. These two activities may help spark your interest in the major and allow you to make an educated decision about your field of study.

Notes: 1) Unless you have a very specific career goal, such as nursing, engineering, or a job that requires a certification (i.e. certified public accountant), most majors will allow you to purse a career field of your choice. 2) Unless written permission is given, parents, by law (FERPA), are not allowed access your student record.

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