When visiting with advisors, you need to be ready to ask the advisor questions of your own. What is the job placement outlook in the disciplines being suggested? Are internships available? What courses will you be taking? What are the initial courses you should be registered for? Is your semester class schedule appropriate? Many student services departments that offer them, may suggest that you take advantage of their aptitude and achievement testing and other computer-based programs to help you select a career and major.
If you are talking to an advisor in an academic department, find out why he or she went into the field you are discussing. Here are some other questions to ask:
- What does the advisor like and dislike about the discipline? Do these explanations interest you as well?
- Find out what kinds of abilities one needs in order to succeed in this field. What is the necessity for pursuing graduate work in this field in order to gain employment?
- How might you use your other skills in this field? For instance, could you use your computer skills or art talents in some way to give you a unique combination that satisfies your employment and personal goals?
- How long does it typically take students to graduate when they are making normal progress?
- Can you arrange to talk with a student or two to get a different perspective?
- Are there special entrance requirements to sign up for this major?
- What grade point average is required to declare this major?
- What grade point average is needed to graduate from this major?
- What are the prerequisites required for this major?
- What minors or second majors should be paired with this major? How difficult is this to accomplish?
- What special learning opportunities are there in this major? Internships? Study abroad? Volunteer work? Laboratory work? Student research projects? On campus employment possibilities in the field?
- What majors are similar to this one? In what ways do they differ?
- Who are some examples of recent graduates? Where are they employed?
- What student organizations are associated with this major?
- Does the class schedule that I worked out look okay?
Another advisor is the career planning and placement officer of the university. This person can give you the most accurate information on which majors are finding jobs most easily and which are having the most difficult time. This advisor can also point you to official projections as to the positions that are mostly like to be in demand when you graduate.