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Insider | College Life | Classroom | Undergraduate

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

ACS 102 - Exploratory Studies is a two-credit course offered at South Dakota State. Students can explore careers and major planning without commitment, and set themselves up for a strong start down a career path. Read on for more information on ACS 102, taught by Amy Pedersen, and determine if this course is right for you.


“What do you want to be when you grow up?”


If you answered, “I don’t know,” you’re in the right place. Many students enter South Dakota State University without declaring a major. To help these students, SDSU created the exploratory studies program with five different tracks. In addition, students can take ACS 102 – Exploratory Studies, a two-credit course. Taught by Amy Pedersen, a lecturer for the Department of Counseling and Human Development, it provides guidance for students in their career exploration and major planning.


Exploratory Studies

The seminar starts by introducing various majors and careers. Students, faculty and staff present information about the majors and careers in their colleges as well as opportunities like clubs, organizations and internships. Students conduct interviews and shadow professionals who work in the fields of interest. By the end of the semester, students write a paper about what they’ve learned and where they plan to go. Students do not need to declare a major by the end of the semester to get an A. As long as they’ve made some progress in their journey, Pedersen said she is proud.


Why should I take this course?

If you are unsure what major or career to decide, this is the perfect class for guided discovery. Even if you have a major declared that you’re confident will not change, this class would be a great way to discover other options or paths within that major. For example, a nursing student is pretty confident in what they’ll be doing – nursing. But where? In a hospital, school or nursing home? Will they be a travel nurse? This course can also help you discover options within your chosen major.


What if I pick the wrong major?

One common misconception among college students is that once they’ve earned a degree, they are stuck in that career forever. This just simply isn’t true! Can you think of someone who has changed careers? A lot of people do. You can easily change jobs or careers. If you are happy in that career for your entire life, that is wonderful. If not, change it! As long as you start out with a good foundation with a major that allows you to do a lot of different things, you will be just fine. Find a major that works for you! Even job experience in your field can qualify you for a job in another field, even if it doesn’t fit your major. You have a lot of options. And who knows, maybe the job you will have hasn’t been invented yet.


Where can I get started?

Talk to your academic advisor! You could register for ACS 102 to try the exploratory studies course. The Office of Career Development has several services, including the Focus2Career tool, fairs and help with resumes and interviews. No matter where you are in your journey to choosing a major and career, South Dakota State University is here to help.


Ready to build your future at South Dakota State University?

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