Decision Making Paralysis: Easy to Identify, Hard to Move

Some decisions can be made fairly easily: if it is raining outside, we know to grab an umbrella; if we need to complete a course in order to graduate, we take that class; if our phone or laptop needs to be charged, we find a charging cord and space. There are not too many gray areas – these decisions are cut and dry, with definitive answers.

Choosing a major and/or career is not as easy a decision, even if we have some idea of what we might want to do. Since most majors do not dictate a specific career, the process to pick one or both weighs heavily on many students’ minds. It has been widely reported that roughly ¼ of college graduates use content from their majors directly into their careers; this means that for most people, the actual major is less critical than the skill set acquired as a result of studying a specific subject. This skill set includes both specific, measurable skills (think language, computer, laboratory) as well as transferable (such as critical thinking, communication, teamwork).

If you have decision making paralysis and want to break free in order to get on a path that will help you find success upon graduation, there are resources through the Center for Career Development. There are options to meet with staff in person as well as on the department website. Here are a few online resources to get you started. Know you are always able to come to the Center for Career Development to meet with a career coach who will work with you as you figure all of this out.

  • Focus2 – Identify a major or career through assessments and exploration
  • Major Elimination Activity – review all UConn majors and remove any you know you don’t want, to help determine what you do
  • Majors to Career Guide – discover where UConn students and alum are interning, working, and going to graduate school
  • O*NET Online – a robust resource with thousands of occupations; use the Advanced Search for the Skills Search, to match your skills with different career options
  • HuskyMentorNetwork – chat with an alum directly, whether someone from your major or in a career of interest

By meeting with a career coach (at any UConn campus), you are taking a necessary step toward career clarity and major resolution.