Work colleagues and employers are ranked among the best sources of information for students seeking advice about choosing a major. However, according to a new survey by Gallup and Strada Education Network, they are the least utilized. This survey reports that the majority of U.S. adults list their informal social network as providing advice about their college major. The study seeks to explore what types of sources provide advice to students regarding college major selecgtion, and how helpful that advice is perceived to be. Results from the survey found that responses were divided into four broad categories: formal (counselors and media), informal social network (friends, family and community leaders), informal school-based (college staff and professors, high school teachers and coaches), and informal work-based (employers, coworkers, experienced professionals and the military). One implication of the findings from this study is that the most commonly cited sources of advice in choosing a major are not necessarily rated as being the most helpful. The researchers of this report seek to use their findings in order to learn how to enhance traditional models of advice and support to help students make better-informed decisions about their field of study.
Gallup (2017). Major influence: Where students get valued advice on what to study in college. Washington, D.C.: Gallup Inc. and Strada Education Network.