May 11, 2016

The Right Major for Your Student’s Personality

Not only do certain personality types tend to gravitate to the same major, students who choose a major in keeping with their personality do better in school.

How much does a student’s personality affect their choice of major? Turns out it can have a big impact.


Get the Right Fit

According to research by CareerKey, students with a major that fits their personality are more likely to have high grades, stick with their major, graduate on time and be satisfied with their career.

Your student will spend four or more years pursuing her education. If she chooses a major that clashes with her personality type she could end up hating classes, getting poor grades, and eventually changing majors or even dropping out.

Worse yet, your student could persist in the ill-fitting major only to graduate college and end up in a job they hate. 

Insight From Experts

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator instrument uses a series of questions to rate a person on four basic qualities:

  • Extroversion vs. Introversion – Do you focus on the world outside yourself or the one inside?
  • Sensing vs. Intuition – Do you concentrate on facts and hard data or do you interpret and add meaning to the information you gather?
  • Thinking vs. Feeling – When you make a decision, do you base it on logic and statistics or do you consider the opinions of numerous people?
  • Judging vs. Perceiving – Do you structure your work and life in an organized, rigid manner or are you more inclined to bend and adapt?

By determining which side an individual identifies with, we can assign one of sixteen four-letter codes. For example, an ESFP personality is an Extrovert who tends to Sense, Feel and Perceive.

What is Your Student’s Personality?

Your student can begin understanding how their personality, strengths, interest, and abilities interact by taking the test and then building two lists.

On one list write the majors you and your student have considered to be financially rewarding.
On the second list, write some of the majors that fit her personality based on the results of the Majors Matcher quiz.

Note what appears on both lists. Make your decision based on what you learn.

At the end of it all, no academic study or psychological test will tell you what you already know. You know her best and she understands her own mind. Realize, however, the relationship between compatibility and success. She won’t be a wealthy Financial Advisor or Anesthesiologist simply by force of will.

Choosing the best major for your student means taking many factors into account. Personality, natural strengths and interests, future plans and financial goals just to name a few. An easy start is by having them take the 20-minute quiz.

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