Often the first and best advice about choosing an available Emory College major or minor is to explore the courses and electives you can take within that curriculum. Attending Emory College Majors Fair, reading individual course descriptions online, learning about curriculum requirements, and reaching out to faculty in these departments are all important steps to help you predict your satisfaction within a given major. To get started online, helpful resources include: Emory College departmental web pages, the Goizueta Business School BBA,  Pre-Health Mentoring Office or the Pre-Law Advising Office curriculum planning sites.

While The Career Center’s advisors can help you to explore the ways in which academic coursework can be related with career pathways, questions related to course selection or which courses will fulfill General Education Requirements (GERs) or major/minor curriculum requirements are best handled by meeting with PACE advisors (for first-year students) or an Academic Advisor at the Emory College Office (White Hall, 3rd Floor).  Department faculty may provide additional guidance about the nature of certain courses, the kinds of jobs and internships students sometimes seek within the major, and graduate or professional school destinations of previous graduates.

Harsh economic realities are often cited as justification for choosing a “practical” major with clearly associated vocational pathways.  Your family’s desire for return on investment for the high cost of an Emory degree is yet another, and these are very valid concerns. Sometimes your personality may fit better with a major curriculum that emphasizes skills directly applicable to business, journalism, scientific research, and the like – making the “practical” choice of majors the natural choice as well.

The fear of students (and their parents) often feel when choosing a major WITHOUT a clear vocational path is that they will find themselves somehow less marketable for employment after graduation. Consider, for example, the Philosophy major that is not interested in graduate school, academic research, or becoming a college professor after earning her bachelor’s degree. Without any clearly prescribed career paths associated with Philosophy, does her college education then become frivolous? (Not to pick on Philosophy majors – being frequently tested to think critically and express ideas from a diverse array of viewpoints often makes them some of the smartest of the bunch.)

Consider this:

  • The knowledge and perspectives gained in classroom hold their own intrinsic value, independent of an individual’s occupation later in life
  • Not all students NEED to choose a major with a clearly associated vocational path in order to FEEL CONFIDENT that they can find their career path upon graduating
  • One’s choice of major is often NOT a limiting factor in terms of where you can go after graduation; nor does it define the particular role or industry in which you will find true satisfaction and reward
  • More often than not, this fear actually stems from an inability to see a clear roadmap to the future, and perhaps a lack of information about the variety of jobs that students can choose from (a great reason to make an appointment at The Career Center to come visit its resource library in Suite 200, B. Jones Center).

There is a more worldly approach to the predicament mentioned above. Nowadays, students in Philosophy (and in all other majors) are expected to seek practical grounding outside the classroom. So-called “experiential learning” allows you to discover new ways of applying interests, talents, and values in diverse settings – and also shows you the means by which others earn a living and achieve independence. You can begin to explore these opportunities in high school and have an abundance of opportunities to do so at Emory and in the surrounding Atlanta community.

Another way to select a major is by first exploring various industries and job functions. Visit the Career Industry Clusters page to discover more about industry areas and to schedule to speak with a counselor about your interests. 

Contact and Hours of Operation

Address: 200 Dowman Drive B. Jones Center, 2nd Floor, Atlanta, Georgia 30322
Phone: 404-727-6211
Email: careercenter@emory.edu
Regular Office Hours: Monday - Friday | 8:30AM - 5:00PM
Campus Closures / Holiday ScheduleThe Emory Career Center will be closed per the Emory University holiday schedule. In the case of inclement weather, Emory University will announce any additional closures through CEPAR (Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response).

Meet with your career counselor
They can help you with a lot more than just your resume!

Schedule Online, Call 404-727-6211 or email CareerCenter@emory.edu to schedule today!