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What Choosing a Major Means: Truth vs. Myth

Does choosing a major mean you're sealing your fate for your lifetime?

No! Your major can be a stepping stone to a job in a field that really excites you. But it may be a small stone. It may be one of many stones. It may be in a path that has a few twists and turns before you end up just where you should be professionally.

So you see you don't need to worry so much about making the supposedly wrong decision. In fact, everything you do and all the choices you make at IUP—including, yes, even choosing a major that may turn out less than ideal for you—contain within them learning experiences that you may apply to many of the things you do in the future. 

Below are a few common myths about majors and what they mean to your life. Heard these before?

Myth Truth
Major = job = career. About half of all college graduates change their career plans after college.
Students who are undecided are less mature than those who declare a major before arriving on campus. Not declaring a major until you’ve thoughtfully decided can be a mark of maturity. Thirty to fifty percent of students change majors at least once before graduating.
People should have one job for a lifetime. Many people entering the job market today will have four to five (or more) jobs in their lifetime.
There is a single right career for everyone. As people mature and have new life experiences, interests and opportunities often lead them into new careers.
Everybody can answer the question: “What’s your major?” About 40 percent of students applying to IUP are undecided; about 10 percent of entering freshmen are undecided.