Like Finding Love, You Can Get Help Finding a Major Online

College classes can be stressful, but deciding on a major often causes more anxiety. More than half of college students will change their focus at least once before graduating.

“When it comes to my major it's always been I'm interested in so many things — psychology, the sciences — it's been a struggle to pin it down,” said Georgetown University sophomore Kimberly Chiguindo-Bonilla, who took two years to settle on international business.

But there are online resources that can help.

Through University Research and Review, a team of higher education specialists help anyone who's uncertain about their future find their best fit by asking a series of multiple choice questions, such as, “Would you rather build a space vehicle, work as a doctor in a medical clinic or teach kindergarten?” The answers are evaluated and, like online dating, there's a science behind making the perfect match.

“We put it in a system that we've designed with algorithms,” University Research and Review President Joseph Schmoke said.

A few days later, you’ll get suggested careers and a list of universities that offer that curriculum to help you avoid wasting time and money.

“I've seen statistics that say if you switch majors this adds $40,000, $50,000, $60,000, and a lot of it goes into student debt,” Schmoke said.


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The Federal Reserve Bank of New York found only 27 percent of people with an undergraduate degree are working in their field of study. A Career Builder survey shows only 32 percent of workers have ever had a job matching their major.

The online questionnaire may help to improve the statistics, but career counselors say it shouldn't be the only factor you consider.

“These are a guide, a tool,” said Charlene Brown-McKenzie of Georgetown University. “They are not black and white. This gives you a range of options to explore.”

Chiguindo-Bonilla tried a different but similar survey that didn't quite hit the bull's-eye.

“They said I should be working as a pilot,” she said. “I don't have any interest in being a pilot but I love traveling so I think it does bring out aspects you are interested in. The questionnaire itself makes you consider what you want to do but it doesn't give you the result you think it will.”

The online survey can also be helpful for adults considering a career change.

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