Finding a Major
What do you like to do? What makes you curious and excited to learn more?
We want to prepare you for life after college by giving you the tools you need to determine what major is right for you. We are 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. 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 the 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 Pathways Specialist can help you gather information about career choices and devise a plan to prepare for your career.
To optimize your use of Career Coach, be sure to:
- Complete the “60 Question” Assessment.
- Review your assessment results and spend ample time exploring your “Top Major & Career Matches”.
- Schedule an appointment with the Career Pathways Specialist to review your results and identify options by calling 814.262.3844.
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.
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
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 Programs 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.
- To see the results of our 2020 Follow-Up Survey, click here.
- To see the results of our 2019 Follow-Up Survey, click here.
- To see the results of our 2018 Follow-Up Survey, click here.
- To see the results of our 2017 Follow-Up Survey, click here.
- To see the results of our 2016 Follow-Up Survey, click here.
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.
(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
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 scheduling a time to meet with the Career Pathways Specialist. If the student and specialist agree that it would be helpful, the student can take a career assessment that we will review with the student. We 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 Student Success Center and to schedule a meeting to discover what services are available and how the Career Pathways Specialist can help.
- Ask your student if they have completed the Career Coach assessment and reviewed results.
- 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.
Finding a Job
College Central Online Job Board
A complete list of job & internship postings can now be found online at College Central Network.
This site is free for all Pennsylvania Highlands Community College students. Alumni of Pennsylvania Highlands Community College are also invited to join for free.
Activation Instructions for Students:
- Please select “Student”.
- If you have not activated your account, please click “Pre-registered? Activate- your account!” to get started.
- Your Access ID number is your Penn Highlands Student ID number. If your ID number is less the 6 digits, please add a “0” before your ID number to make it 6 digits. For example, if your 5-Digit Student ID is 55555 you will need to place a 0 before the ID number, so you will enter 055555.
- Enter your school email address.
- Click the “Find Account” button. You will receive an email to recover your account which will allow you to set your password and finish your registration.
- Review the information under “Manage My Account” to make sure your profile is complete and in order to gain full access to the available resources.
If you are a returning user, please select “Student”, and log in using your personal access ID and password.
Upon graduation, all student accounts will be updated and become designated as an alumni account. Your log-in information will remain the same.
Alumni who never registered or activated an account can use the link above; select “Alumni” and follow the online instructions.
Career Planning Guide
We are pleased to offer you a new resource to assist with career planning from your first semester in school to your post-college job search needs. The Career Planning Guide is available for pick up at the Students Success Center, Campus Bookstore, and Education Centers, or you may view it online.
To view the PDF version of the book, click here.
This directory is provided to all Penn Highlands students for use in their job, internship, and job shadow searches. Additionally, the directory is provided to all faculty and staff as an aid to assisting students.
In this document, you can also find resume/cover letter writing instructions and samples to help you draft your own documents.
Additional information on interview preparation, professional dress, networking, and job searching are available in the guide.
Job and Internship Fairs
Attending job fairs can be a great way to make connections, grow your network, and learn more about current job opportunities.
During the spring semester, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College hosts an annual job fair event where students can connect with local employers for job and internship opportunities.
Students will also have the opportunity to partake in additional regional job/internship fair events hosted by other colleges and community organizations. This includes the WestPACS Collegiate Career Fair which is the largest fair for college students and alumni of 50+ member schools throughout Western Pennsylvania.
Students can find more information about upcoming recruiting events on the community calendar on myPEAK, the upcoming events section on the Penn Highlands main webpage, and through college events emails.
Ben Mostoller, Career Pathways Specialist
Student Success Center
Email Ben Mostoller