Finding a Major

What do you like to do? What makes you curious and excited to learn more?

The Career Services Center wants to prepare you for life after college by giving you the tools you need to determine what major is right for you. Career Services is here to help you get started on the right foot.

Choosing a college major is a difficult decision, but you can make the process more manageable by following the three steps below, with the help of a career counselor. Click on each to get a more in-depth look and start the process of discovering your future… get started now!

  • (1) Knowing Yourself

    The first step in the career exploration process is to understand yourself by identifying your interests, personality, skills and values through career assessments. By completing assessment in Career Coach, you can start to link your interests to possible careers that may be a good fit for you. The assessment is also helpful if you are a current Penn Highlands student and want to explore changing majors or other career fields. Our career counselors can help you gather information about career choices and devise a plan to prepare for your career.

    You are invited to talk directly about your experience using Career Coach and share your feedback with its developers by scheduling a time by clicking here.

    Career Coach Bar

    To optimize your use of Career Coach, be sure to:

    1. Complete the “60 Question” Assessment.
    2. Review your assessment results and spend ample time exploring your “Top Major & Career Matches”.
    3. Schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor to review your results and identify options by calling the Career Services Center at 814.262.3850.

    Accessing/Using Career Coach:

    • If it is your first time accessing the website, please “Sign Up” and complete the profile section.
    • If you are a returning user, please “Login” using your email and the unique password you created when signing up for the account.
  • (2) Exploring the Possibilities

    The power is in YOUR hands!

    You have the power to take charge of your career development both on campus and right here at your keyboard. The following resources can help you explore majors and career options.

    What can I do with this major?

    Information on this website outlines the common career areas that students enter into with a particular major, typical employers that hire students in a field, and strategies designed to maximize career opportunities. Understand that content on the website is representative of typical career paths associated with each major and are not an exhaustive list. To access the website, please click here.

    Job Shadowing

    Spend a half or full day with an employer to get a first-hand understanding of potential careers on your short list.

    Conduct an Informational Interview

    Work with a career counselor to develop a list of helpful questions to learn more about an occupation through a telephone interview with an employer.

    Majors We Offer

    Pennsylvania Highlands offers a broad and extensive number of degree, diploma, and certificate programs. Visit our Academic Areas of Study section to see a full listing of majors and the program requirements for each degree.

    First Destination Report

    Each year Pennsylvania Highlands surveys the previous year’s graduates to determine their success in finding employment and to track transfer rates. Read our most recent graduation outcome report (PDF).

    O*NET OnLine Logo

    O*NET and its Resource Center is one of the nation’s primary sources with occupational information on hundreds of careers. Students can explore occupations and learn about educational requirements, wages, employment trends, and associated job tasks. To access it online, please click here.

    Work with a career counselor to develop a list of helpful questions to learn more about an occupation through a telephone interview with an employer.

  • (3) Targeting Your Next Steps

    We are ready to help you get started… TODAY!

    Now that you’ve learned more about yourself and explored the many different career opportunities available to you, we recommend scheduling an Admissions visit to the College.

    • Have a discussion with an Admissions representative and find out how Penn Highlands can help you get started and ultimately reach your educational and career goals.
    • Share with an Admissions representative what you’ve learned about yourself and what careers you are most excited about.
    • Determine if an associate degree program will meet your needs or if pursuing a bachelor’s degree and beyond might be necessary to achieve your goals.
    • An Admissions representative can help you determine what major at Penn Highlands makes the most sense for you. Choosing the correct major is critical to starting you down the correct career path.

    Not only will we help you begin at Penn Highlands, we will prepare you for your options after Penn Highlands.

    Keep in mind that many college majors are only available at the bachelor’s degree level. Therefore students should consider the transfer programs that are available at Penn Highlands.

    • Liberal Arts and Sciences is an associate of arts degree and is our most popular transfer program. It is designed to fulfill the general education requirements and first two years of many bachelor’s programs. If you’re still undecided and your goal is a bachelor’s degree, Liberal Arts and Sciences is probably your best option.
    • Flexibility is at a premium with the availability of a wide variety of course selections. You’ll be exposed to new ideas and concepts that might help you determine your next steps.
    • Penn Highlands offers other, more targeted Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Associate of Science (A.S.) transfer degrees that you might want to consider and discuss with the Admissions representative.
  • For the Parents: Questions to Consider

    When should my son/daughter start visiting the Career Services Center?

    We recommend that students visit us at least once a semester to ensure they are on track with their career goals. Career counselors will be available to meet with your student to discuss their interests, coursework, and majors while there is still time to plan the next few years. From there, we encourage ongoing engagement:

    • Resume and Cover Letter Writing
    • Interview Preparation
    • Career Development Workshops
    • Job & Internship Search Assistance
    • Job & Internship Fairs

    What if my son/daughter does not know what he/she wants to do?

    This is normal. Many students do not know what they truly want to do when starting college. If a student is unsure about his or her interests and options, please encourage a visit to the Career Services Center. Our career counselors are available to help. If the student and career counselor agree that it would be helpful, the student can take a career assessment that we will review with the student. Career counselors can help your student match his or her interests to careers and review occupational information to help him or her become an informed decision maker.

    Tips to help your student:

    • Be supportive of your student. Declaring a major is important and for many students a difficult decision.
    • Don’t pressure your student to make a decision. Allow your student ample time to explore options.
    • Recommend the Career Services Center and to schedule a “Check Point” meeting to discover what services are available through the Center and start to develop a career action plan.
    • Ask your student if they have completed the Career Coach assessment and reviewed results with a college career counselor.
    • Encourage your student to participate in student organizations and co-curricular activities.
    • Talk to your student about volunteering in a field of interest.
    • Discuss the advantage of part-time employment and internship opportunities in order to gain job specific and transferable skills.
    • Persuade your student to stay up-to-date with current on-campus events and participate in activities.
    • Be a good listener and offer reassurance and encouragement on a regular basis.
    • Talk to your student about his or her interests, values, and career goals.
    • Remember that the student ultimately needs to make the decision about his or her major and career choice.