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RElate Majors to Careers

Deciding on a major, whether you are choosing one or contemplating a change, can be a daunting task, especially when you are trying to connect the major to some future career. Sometimes, the relationship between the two can look linear:



For example, Stony Brook’s major in journalism would prepare you to be a journalist; the major in chemical engineering would prepare you to be a chemical engineer.

But would you be surprised to know that, more often than not, the relationship between major and career looks something like this?











The relationship between major and career is indirect and more complicated than you’d probably expect.  Every major leads to a wide variety of career options. For example:

  • Liberal Arts

    The purpose of a liberal arts education, like the one you’re getting at Stony Brook, is less to give you hard job skills than to teach you how to do things like write well and think critically – transferable skills that are essential in almost any job.

  • Studio Art

    D id you know that studio art majors can become doctors (if they complete the requirements for medical school)?  

Your major is only ONE part of what your future employer or graduate school will consider. The key is to combine your academic study with experience that adds to your skills and refines your interests. 

But your major will most likely have a direct effect on your feelings of academic engagement, your passion for learning, and your overall satisfaction with college – so you should still choose carefully!  Here are some steps you can take:

Continue Reading...
  • Attend a workshop at the Career Center.
  • Enroll in CAR 110.
  • Take a self-assessment inventory .
  • Schedule an appointment with a career counselor.
  • Browse through our many resources to explore occupations and employers .


What can i do with a major in...


Explore Occupations




The Career Development Cycle model was created to help students better understand the process of career development. You should touch upon each part of this cycle throughout your college experience. Over time, you will find yourself building up both your resume and your confidence in a particular career direction.



Getting experience can involve anything from taking a class that interests you to joining a club or completing an internship. Experiencing something will allow you to distinguish between your likes and dislikes. Further, this will help you discover where your strengths and/or weaknesses lie.


Reflection is a great way to understand your experiences more fully. Whether using a career log, journal writing, or talking with a career counselor, this practice can help you organize your thoughts, better understand yourself and create career goals.

Career (Concept)

The career direction you think you want to pursue after graduation. This may be as specific as “I want to be a pediatrician” OR may be more broad like “I want to work with children.”

Information (Gathering)
Doing occupational research through online resources, meeting with alumni through the Career Advisors Network (CAN) to talk about their career experiences, or observing others doing a job you think you would like to do someday.
Research Occupations

Gathering information about careers and professions can be a difficult task. We have provided you with a number of resources we trust for information about the professions you may be interested in pursuing.

Vault Career Insider

Through the Career Center, you have access to occupational profiles, industry overviews, in-depth employer profiles, the "electronic water cooler" message boards, employee surveys, salary trends, and more.

Click the graphic above to go to Vault Career Insider's login page, or click here for a list of industry-specific links.

Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH)

For hundreds of jobs, the Occupational Outlook Handbook tells you:

  • The training and education you will need
  • Earnings
  • Expected job prospects
  • What workers do on the job
  • Working conditions
Career Zone

 A product of the NY State Department of Labor, CareerZone is a free career exploration and planning system designed especially for New York State students.


NACE collects job offer salary information to compile a list of salaries by degree level and other factors.'s cutting-edge technology is integrated with actionable data and content, empowering customers to make the best decisions about pay.


Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, your source for career exploration, training and jobs.

O*NET Online

The O*NET database provides extensive information about various careers, including: the kinds of tasks one would perform in a certain career, the tools and technology used in the occupation, skill sets, abilities, knowledge, what is needed to go into that occupation, related occupations, and much more.


Assess Yourself



Have you heard about a “career test” that will tell you exactly what major or career path you should take?

That idea is a little misleading, because no website or piece of paper can truly know who you are and what’s best for you.  However, there are self-assessment tools that can help you understand yourself better, which in turn can help you figure out what’s best for you.

As illustrated in the picture above, ideally, a thorough self-assessment will consist of   4 factors:


Your values: what’s important to you in a career?

Values Assessment


Your interests: what do you like doing or thinking about?

O*NET Interest Profiler

Your skills: what are you good at, or could you get better at?

Functional Skills Assessment

Your personality: how do you prefer to interact with the world?

16 Personalities MBTI Test







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