Career Key

Author: Career Key's President and CEO, Juliet Wehr Jones, GCDF, J.D.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Best Online Resources for Learning about College Majors in the U.S.

For students who want to learn about college majors and training programs, we’ve chosen the best online resources with advice on how to use them. Each site has certain advantages depending on what kind of information you are looking for.

Start by narrowing your college majors choices to those that match your Holland personality types. If you make a close personality-major match, studies show you're more likely to succeed in college.  Career Key’s articles help you get started, including these:
Once you've narrowed your options, you'll want to learn more about each one as part of a good, 4 step decision making process. These websites can help:
BigFuture by the CollegeBoard
Best for:
  • Descriptions of a major
How to use it:
Look at audiology as an example.  There’s an easy to read description of the major, questions to ask yourself that are related to that major, lists of helpful high school courses, and typical courses offered in the major.  

Best for:
  • “How to Become One” [a career choice],
  • Easy to read and understand education and training information for people with specific careers in mind.
How to use it:
  •  At their home page, enter an occupation in the top “Search Handbook” box:
  • Click on the occupation you want.
  • Click on the tab, “How to Become One.” Also click on the tab “Contacts for More Info.” You’ll find links to national organizations that often guide you to more local education sources.
  • If you're using the Career Key test, click on the jobs you chose to learn more about to see the Handbook's listing for an occupation.
Education +Training Finder at
Best for:
  • Finding local education and training options;
  • Finding local education, training, and licensing required for a specific occupation.
How to use it:
  • At the Education and Training Finder page, search for an occupation from the “Occupation Profile,” choose your state, and your statewide information will be pulled up;
  • Scroll down to Education and Training and you’ll see the types of majors or “instructional programs” related to the career. 
  • Go further and you’ll see a link under the “Educational Attainment” box for “colleges, training schools, and instructional programs for this occupation.” Click on it and a list of statewide schools offering the major will be shown. Any links to apprenticeships and training programs will also be shown.
U.S. Department of Education’s College Navigator
Best for:
  • Finding a college that offers a particular major or training program;  
College Navigator is an unbiased resource, where no one pays to be listed or promoted.  Watch our short YouTube video on how to use the College Navigator.

Soon, I’ll follow up with a similar post on researching majors and programs in Canada for our Canadian audience.

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