January 31, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 16°F


New survey looks to gauge undecided undergrads

With a majority of undergraduate students starting out undecided on the major they want to pursue, institutions of higher education are always tweaking their exploratory programs to help students decide their career paths early on. But in addition to aptitude tests, which are usually administered to high school students as part of standardized testing measures, a new online survey is aimed at helping both undergraduate and high school students in their search for the degree that best fits their interests and skills.

Mymajors.com allows students in the United States and a few other nations to search for majors at institutions and take a test that gauges their strengths and interests to focus on their future aspirations. The website’s survey asks for preferences in areas of study and activities of interests and asks as much questions regarding personality as academics. It appears to be more functional than the cluttered Princeton Review, and more technologically advanced — it has an app for Android, iPad and iPod Touch and allows students to register for updates through their Facebook account.

I had come across the website’s survey from a friend’s Facebook update and decided to take it to see if it could correctly identify the major I chose to pursue three years ago. Since I’ll be receiving my bachelor’s degree in journalism is less than one year and have already begun to apply to the competitive and shrinking media job market, I wanted to be reminded of why I chose to pursue journalism and develop my skills in editing, writing and reporting. These reasons, which include a passion for expressing my thoughts in writing, learning every day, telling stories, and meeting new people, are often lost in the fact that I’m pursuing the most useless degree in America according to the Daily Beast.

After answering questions on how well I performed in high school classes to the level of passion I had for each area of study, I clicked the submit button and anxiously awaited to see if the test had fit journalism to my interests. Sure enough, my major came in at number four on the list of the top 10 choices derived from my answers. But more importantly the results of the test gave me a number of potential careers that could derive from my degree, which slightly allayed the nagging fear of uncertainty I had regarding applying my knowledge to my future.