Describe and discuss where you are with respect to choosing a major a). no clue b). undecided between two or more choices c). decided but unsure about the one I chose d). decided and content with choice. What is your major, or what majors are you considering?

Basic Psychology Personal Paper

Psychology Term Paper

Introduction: The intent of this assignment is twofold. First, it acquaints you with just one of the many things that psychologists and counselors do. In this case the focus is on the exploration of educational and career choices of individuals. Secondly, it requires you to take a good look at yourself and the options, influences, and important elements in the decision process as you prepare for your future.

Deciding to pursue a formal college or university education, selecting a major, and planning on a specific career are some of the most important decisions you make for your life. For some, the path seems straightforward. For others, the journey may take several turns, and maybe even some backtracking before the choices seem right. Some students change majors along the way. A few decide on other forms of job preparation as an alternative to school. There are also people who change careers completely at some point in life. Making sound choices about school and career can increase your likelihood of success and satisfaction in the world of work. It is my hope that this paper will encourage you to examine those choices, and that in doing so you will be better informed and more certain of your direction. A satisfying career is one that fits your interests, abilities, and personality.


A. Describe and discuss where you are with respect to choosing a major: a). no clue; b). undecided between two or more choices; c). decided but unsure about the one I chose; d). decided and content with choice. What is your major, or what majors are you considering?

B. Describe your career objectives. What will your eventual degree qualify you to become? Tell about this occupation. The Dictionary of Occupational Titles is an excellent resource you can utilize here, and the Occupational Outlook Handbook is a valuable tool that will give you information about careers, including qualifications, the nature of the work, working conditions, salaries, outlook, etc. You will find a wealth of career information on line. Go to, O*NET OnLine (, and



Tell about the development of your interests in the major(s) and career(s) you are considering or have decided upon. Talk about your childhood career ideas (what you first thought you wanted to be when you grew up), and why that seemed like a good idea. Trace any changes over time that led to your current decision or difficulty in deciding. Who or what has influenced you in this process? Tell about the role of family members, peers, role models, or events that have helped to shape your current plans. Is there any relationship between your educational/vocational goals and your preferred hobbies or activities? The Holland Code can help you to categorize your interests and how they are represented by your choice of a particular major and career. All occupations involve some combination of the six interest themes.


The Holland Code divides work environments/activities into six broad interest areas: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. These are described as follows.

Realistic (R)

Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Realistic types prefer to deal with Things.

A person with a Realistic Personality tends to be frank, practical, focused, mechanical, determined, or rugged.
Examples of Realistic Abilities include manipulating tools, doing mechanical or manual tasks, or doing athletic activities.
Examples of Realistic Holland Code Careers include Engineer. Craftsman, Fitness Trainer, Optician, Policemen, Fire Fighter, and Physical Education Teacher.
Possible Realistic College Majors are Engineering fields, Justice Studies, Fire Science, Athletic Training, Martial Arts, Corporate Fitness, and Physical Education.

Investigative (I)

Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Investigative types prefer to deal with Things and Ideas.

A person with a Investigative Personality tends to be analytical, intellectual, reserved, independent, and scholarly.
Examples of Investigative Abilities include working with abstract ideas and intellectual problems.
Examples of Investigative Holland Code Careers include Biologist, Chemist, Historian, Researcher, Doctor, and Mathematician.
Possible Investigative College Majors are Medicine, Botany, Engineering, Forestry Science, Physics, and Foreign Languages.
Artistic (A)

Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require creativity and self-expression, and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Artistic types prefer to deal with Ideas and People.

A person with a Artistic Personality tends to be Complicated, Original, Impulsive, Independent, Expressive, and Creative.
Examples of Artistic Abilities include using imagination and feelings in creative expression.
Examples of Artistic Holland Code Careers include Artist, Musician, Actor/ Actress, Designer, Writer, and Photographer.
Possible Artistic College Majors are Art, Theater, Graphic Design, Music, Journalism, and Communication.
Social (S)
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Social types prefer to deal with People.

A person with a Social Personality tends to be Helping, Informing, Teaching, Inspiring, Counseling, and Serving.
Examples of Social Abilities include interacting with people and concerned with the welfare of people.
Examples of Social Holland Code Careers include Teacher, Clergy, Coach, Therapist, Nurse, Counselor, and Sociologist.
Possible Social College Majors are Nursing, Christian Education, Counseling, Biblical Studies, Social Science, and Education.

Enterprising (E)

Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Enterprising types prefer to deal with Data and People.

A person with an Enterprising Personality tends to be Persuasive, Energetic, Sociable, Adventurous, Ambitious, and Risk-taking.
Examples of Enterprising Abilities include leading, managing, and organizing.
Examples of Enterprising Holland Code Careers include Manager, Producer, Lawyer, Business/ Marketing, Executive, Entrepreneur, and Principal.
Possible Enterprising College Majors are Pre-Law, Business Management and Administration, International Business, and Political Science.
Conventional (C)

Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Conventional types prefer to deal with Data and Things.

A person with a Conventional Personality tends to be Careful, Conforming, Conservative, Conscientious, Self-controlled, and Structured.
Examples of Conventional Abilities include ordering activities and paying attention to details.
Examples of Conventional Holland Code Careers include Accountant, Banker, Editor, Office Manager, Librarian, and Reporter.
· Possible Conventional College Majors are Business, Accounting, and Management.
List and rank your top three Holland code areas in the term paper.


II. Abilities

These play a role in shaping our school and work preferences. Success in different majors or jobs requires different abilities. Most of us are not “smart” in all areas equally, but instead have varying ability depending on the area (e.g., verbal vs. non-verbal reasoning and problem-solving). Discuss the fit between your own intellectual strengths and those required by the major/career you are pursuing. Do your grades reflect your ability, and do you have what it will take to succeed in your chosen field? Please explain. ACT or SAT scores and/or GPA data may provide support for choice.


III. Personality

A critical piece in the major/career decision process, along with interest and ability, is personality. Each one of us has certain traits and needs that define who we are. Matching your career with your personality is extremely important for success and contentment in work. Think about who you are as a person and how you may (or may not) fit comfortably into the work role for which you are headed. Consider such things as introversion vs. extroversion, leadership preference, decision-making style, need for independence, being a team player, relationship to authority, risk-taking, liking change, work setting, etc. Mention how your chosen career will meet your financial needs and fit your preferred lifestyle. Will it allow you to live where you would like (rural, urban, preferred climate, near family, etc.)? Talk about the things related to your anticipated job that you might find stressful or that could lead to burnout, such as required travel, long hours, a stressful level of responsibility, danger, or job insecurity. What could you do to offset or manage the things that might put you under pressure?

Note from your instructor: It is my hope and intent that by writing this paper you will become more aware of some of the important elements involved in the decision process of selecting your major and subsequent career. The paper can serve to simply reinforce the soundness of the decisions you have already made, but for some of you it may offer a challenge to explore new areas or narrow down alternatives. Please let me know if you have questions or problems related to this assignment, or if you would like to know more about available resources that may help with selection of a major and a vocation. Finally, would you be so kind as to let me know if doing this paper has been a beneficial experience? Thanks – GG.

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