Mapping your future

Undeclared college students overwhelmed with the burden of declaring a major can take several steps to help them determine what field suits them best. Whether it’s personal desire or job availability, each student has to decide what’s most important to him when declaring a major.

With a growing generation of baby boomers aging and heading for retirement, a sizable number of jobs will soon be open. The availability of these jobs may help some undecided students chose a career that will be in demand now and in the future.

Jobs in the medical field, such as physicians and registered nurses, are and will continue to be in demand in the future according to U.S. News and World Report. With the age of technology playing an exponentially larger role in our lives, it may come as a surprise that librarians will be in further demand as well. With libraries constantly growing and containing more information than ever, librarians are going to be needed to help steer and classify that information. If job availability alone does not appeal to an undecided student, another way to choose a possible career is to determine what personality traits match best with certain professions. A student’s personality can help determine what kind of jobs work best with the way he wishes to live as an adult. and discuss six different categories of personality: realistic, social, investigative, artistic, enterprising, and conventional. Each category presents students with a list of jobs that are specifically reflective of and relating to the traits of that personality type.
So, how does a person decide on which personality type is most fi tting for them and what jobs they might consider?

People with realistic personalities enjoy work that requires them to deal with hands-on issues. They value work that is mechanical and generally like working with objects and tools rather than people. Electricians and engineers are examples of “realistic” jobs. Engineers are included in U.S. News and World Report’s top 25 professions that are in growing demand as baby boomers age. For most entry-level positions, applicants need at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Engineers take mathematical and scientific knowledge and use it to invent, test and design products. People with a social personality flourish when they work with others. Communication is fundamental when it comes to having a social personality, so jobs including social services, education, and nursing are most appealing.

Nursing is another in-demand fi eld that requires both the knowledge of basic medical duties and concern for patient progress. Registered nurses comprise the largest health-care occupation, with nearly 2.5 million jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The majority of nurses work in hospitals. Problem solvers who work more in their minds than through verbal communication or working with their hands have investigative personalities. They tend to think analytically and are inclined to engage in problemsolving. Jobs in this category include work in mathematics
and physical and medical sciences.

Systems analysts have investigative personalities and are able to translate computer jargon to the average person in terms they understand. They are quick problem solvers and can work with creative independence as well as with others.

A systems analyst may be hired by a company where they can develop a new system for budgets. Their day begins with researching the best way to approach the project to ensure security and minimal damage to the system being developed. They then meet with programmers
who will modify details to work best with the system. People with an enterprising personality prefer to act rather than to extend a problem. They tend to lead and are decisive when it comes to making choices. This broad field houses jobs in sales, law, communications, and business. Editors, also in the top 25 professions in growing demand, are willing to dedicate themselves to seeing results. They think of an idea for their publication and work to get it – hire a new writer, help mold a column. Editors enjoy seeing the end result achieved as swiftly and effi ciently as possible.

An editor might start off their day by clearing their desk from messages, ideas, posts, and phone calls from the previous night. Then the editor contacts writers to assign them stories. The editor refines poorly written articles, makes sure photographers are where they need to be, and keeps track of what stories are being written and the deadlines that are approaching.

Those who like being told what rules and regulations to follow and work best with scrupulous details have a conventional personality. They favor work with a “manual,” as opposed to generating ideas themselves. Jobs in this category include accounting and mathematical
detail. Accountants need analytical and computer skills. They have to stay well-informed on business laws regarding taxes and finances.

A tax accountant may begin their day responding to a call by a company. The accountant must take specific details of the company to asses their income tax statements. The accountant will decipher how much money the company is in possession of, how to deal with a merger, and when to expense items. Unique individuals who like work without specific rules and regulations have an artistic personality. They prefer being original and innovative. Jobs in visual arts, music and literature tend to appeal to those with this type of personality.

Many times, artistic jobs are more difficult to acquire than others, so it is important to choose a career in this field you desire deeply. Otherwise, the struggle may not be worth the end result. Poets, writers, dancers, musicians, and actors are all classified as artistic, yet more often
than not, these jobs offer little stability and income. Bee-Ling, an incoming freshman to St. John’s University, knows about the risks of having an artistic job. She wants to be an actress, but knows that her chance of success is slim, so she decided to go to college while pursuing her dream.

“Why not start out safely and get your education first?” she noted. “That way, if things don’t go as well as you’d hoped, you have something to fall back on.” Regardless of where you are in your search to determine what field you want to go into, each student must be judicious when taking the necessary steps toward the career of their choice. Students should weigh the benefits and detriments to each possible career they consider and, if possible, choose the one that will be the most personally and financially gratifying.