Need Help to Select or Switch Your Major?

Filed in From the Staff by on October 3, 2012

I started WPI as an Electrical Engineering (ECE) major. I think my father was the main influence on my decision. He studied Electrical Engineering in college as well and he expected me to study a major that’s challenging, highly respected and helps me to make big bucks after graduation. So the first criterion was not that I like the major truly; which after a long time and inside debate I realized that I don’t like ECE at all! I like what it does and the final products that come out of the field (come on, we all use computers, ipods, androids all day) but not the way it does it! I don’t want to be stuck in the lab building circuits all day, or spend countless hours at Atwater Kent to get the latest assignment done.

After this realization, I was very determined to change my major and started to look into other majors. Industrial Engineering (IE) seemed to be the best fit. It was both business and engineering related; so I could use both my technical and social skills to excel in my major. Besides, I was already taking classes towards a management minor and I could easily have those classes count for the required business classes for IE.

The first thing I did was to go on the Industrial Engineering page and print out the tracking sheet. Each major at WPI have a tracking sheet and most of them are uploaded online. Then I scheduled an appointment with the Industrial Engineering department head to discuss the courses I had to take and how to fit them in my schedule. I also asked her about the career opportunities after graduation and MQP projects for the major. Our meeting was very useful and I was completely convinced that IE was a good choice.

My transition between majors was pretty smooth; but now I realize how many resources are available and I  think that I could benefit from them during my transition. The career center has a service named ‘Career Counseling’ and you can discuss with them which industry would fit your qualities the best and which major you should pursue in order to fulfill the requirements for your future career plans.

Another thing that could help me early on during college would be Discovering Majors and Careers course offered by CDC during B or C term. This link has all the information for the course. ( The course provides students with various resources to help them select their major. Even if you already have a major, but do not feel strongly connected to it, it might be a good idea to take the course. The students who take the course are given assessments to evaluate their interests and abilities, they shadow professionals at their workplace and have panels or 1:1 meetings with seniors in the major fields they are interested in.  There are so many resources on campus to help you select your major, you just need to look for it 😉


About the Author ()

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Class of 2013- Industrial Engineering

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