Factors to Consider

Before you start to look at possible careers and degree programs that Carleton offers, it is important to explore your interests, abilities, motivations and realities. Make sure to take these factors into consideration as you browse this site and work towards your final decision.

The best way to find out what you like is by trying something out! Check out our tips on how to explore your options and gain first-hand experience.

What are your interests?

The first step to choosing a major is to consider what you like – what brings excitement to your life and things you truly enjoy! Begin brainstorming your interests by jotting down some answers to the following questions:

  • What activities do like to participate in? What are your hobbies?
  • Do you enjoy spending your time outdoors or indoors?
  • Would you rather work alone or as part of a team?
  • What were your favourite high school courses?
  • What types of jobs appeal to you? What is your dream job?

What are your abilities?

When choosing your major, it’s important to examine your abilities – what are your strengths, weaknesses, and what skills do you possess? Review these suggestions and questions to help you determine your strongest abilities:

  • Is there a pattern in your high school courses that you did well in and the courses you struggled with?
  • What type of extracurricular activities did you take part in during high school?
  • What have you learned from part-time or summer employment?
  • Have you received awards or recognition in certain areas?
  • How would you assess your study skills and work ethic?

What motivates you?

Now consider what might be driving you towards a particular major. Take a look at your interests and abilities examined above to discover where your strongest motivations stem from. Here are some questions to help you decide:

  • Is your decision being influenced by outside factors – family, peers or the job market?
  • Are you considering a particular major because you believe it will help you secure a great job and a large salary?
  • Is the workload you associate with a particular major influencing your decision?

What are the realities?

Now it’s time for a reality check! What requirements must be satisfied and what obstacles can you foresee having to overcome with your choice of major?

  • How do your grades rank against those required to succeed in a certain major?
  • What are the course requirements you will have to satisfy for a particular major?
  • Will the number of years you spend at university be extended with your choice of major?
  • Will you be able to satisfy the financial requirements of an extended university career?

Give it a try!

There are tons of ways to get experience and find out what you like! For example:

  • Internships, jobs, volunteer positions
  • Meet with professors
  • Talk to your parents
  • Speak with people you look up to in jobs you think you might like
  • Participate in ‘National Take Our Kids to Work Day’

More Ways to

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