Career Development

How To Choose a College Major Based on Your Personality in 10 Steps

October 14, 2021

Your passions can help you decide what major you want to pursue in college, but your personality can also influence your choice. Choosing a major that's based on your personality can set you up for success in college and in your career path after graduation. Personality tests and research can help you decide on the right major for you and your interests. In this article, we discuss how personality can influence your career path and how to choose a college major based on your personality in 10 steps.

Related: College Major and Minor: Definition and 4 Key Differences

How can personality influence your career path?

Personality can influence your career path because you may choose your major in college based on your personality. A college major that best fits your personality may lead to higher success in school because you may earn higher grades due to your interest in the subjects. This may also lead you to stay committed to your studies and result in satisfaction in your career after graduation. There are six unique personality traits that you may exhibit. You might exhibit one or a combination of a few. For example, you might have an artistic personality trait but also have characteristics of the realistic trait in some aspects.

Here are the six personality traits and general careers that align with it:

  • Realistic: This personality type has characteristics such as independent, strong, conservative and practical, and they work well with data and jobs that involve assembling or repairing. Some college majors for this type can include biology, chemistry, anthropology, geology, nursing, physics or engineering.

  • Artistic: This personality type has characteristics such as creativity and vivid imagination, and they work well with unstructured environments. Some college majors for this type can include art, English, French, Spanish, marketing, communication, music education, theater or philosophy.

  • Investigative: This personality type has characteristics such as introversion and an interest in math, reading, science and studying. Some college majors for this type can include psychology, bioengineering, chemistry, criminal justice, law, political science or medicine.

  • Social: This personality type has characteristics such as leadership and responsibility, and they prefer to work with others and enjoy connecting with people. Some college majors for this type can include nursing, community health, women and gender studies, public administration, art education, counseling psychology or translation.

  • Enterprising: This personality type has characteristics such as extroversion and leadership, and they typically find money and status interesting. Some college majors for this type can include accounting, business administration, economics, finance, marketing, law or entrepreneurship.

  • Conventional: This personality type has characteristics such as introversion, attention to detail and responsibility, and they enjoy numbers, machines and data. Some college majors for this type can include mathematics, accounting, finance, urban planning, computer information studies or business administration.

Related: Personality Type Test: Definition and Examples

How to choose a college major based on your personality

Here are 10 steps to help you choose a college major based on your personality:

1. Make a list of careers

Create a list of careers that you might want to have after graduating college. Making a list can be a good way to provide direction when beginning your major research. Write down what interests you the most and consider what you might want to study. You may notice a theme, such as mathematics or the arts.

2. Take a personality test

There are several free online personality tests that you can use to determine your personality type. You also have the option to pay a small fee for certified professional results from established personality type organizations. A typical personality test gives you a series of questions to answer, and the results provide you with your dominant and secondary personality traits.

Related: 18 Personality Tests To Help You Discover Your Strengths

3. Research your personality type

After completing your personality test and receiving your results, research your personality. Researching your personality type can help you better understand yourself and the college majors you might enjoy. Your personality type can tell you what situations you may handle best, what your likes and dislikes could be and what strengths and weaknesses you may have. It's important to remember that while a personality test gives you insight into yourself, it's only a tool that can offer guidance and suggestions. You might not identify with everything that it says about you.

4. Create a list of careers for your personality type

When you've completed your research on your personality type, begin focusing on the careers that are associated with it. Write a list of the ones that interest you. You may find it helpful to research salaries, skills, job duties and responsibilities when creating this list so that you have a better idea of what type of opportunities you may have after graduation depending on the major you choose.

5. Compare the lists

Compare the list that you wrote at the beginning of the research to the one you wrote based on your personality type. Consider looking at careers that appear on both lists, as this can give you an idea of what major might be a good fit for you. For example, if you wrote biologist on your first list and chemist on your second, consider a major in science.

6. Narrow your lists down

After you've compared your lists, choose the ones that most align with your personality and interests. You can then use professional networking sites to better understand careers that you may get with your major. For example, if you want to major in business, possible career paths are an accountant, management consultant, business teacher or financial analyst. Doing this can help you shorten your list further. Here are some other examples of majors and related career choices:

  • Psychology: With a psychology major, you may pursue a career as a psychologist, career counselor or social worker.
  • Communication: You may pursue a job as a public relations specialist, media planner or copywriter after getting a degree in communication.
  • History: After graduating with a degree in history, you may consider being a history teacher, museum curator or archaeologist.

9. Research your potential majors

When you've narrowed down your list of majors, you can start researching them for further information. You can do this by searching the internet or your school's website on the page where it describes their programs. This can also give you a better idea of the major's requirements and the courses you would take. Consider the one that best aligns with your personality, interests and schedule.

Related: 30 Fun College Majors To Explore

10. Declare your major

Once you've picked the college major that best fits your personality, you can declare it with your school. Declaring a major is important because it helps you set up a plan to complete the requirements and keeps you on track to graduate on time. Here are a few steps to declare your major in college:

  1. Review the major requirements.
  2. Talk with your college advisor and the department advisors of the major you want.
  3. Sign the declaration form, which is usually found in the registrar's office.
  4. Return the form by the date written on the paper.

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