Should you use personality tests to choose a college major?

Written by

John Ingram


July 23, 2018


A a student attending college, choosing your major is, perhaps, the single most important decision you can make. 

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” said the ancient Chinese sage Confucius. Considering that your major has implications for your future career opportunities and earning potential, it is critical that you get this important decision right.

The right way to go about choosing your major

Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) and relevant resources can help you discover you unique personality traits and what kind of work you will likely enjoy. Finding a job that you are passionate about matters more than going after a job that may pay well, but makes you miserable and frustrated.  

There are test categorizes that match your personality type based on psychological standards by asking what feels more comfortable and more like you. One person who has influenced many personality tests is Dr. John L. Holland – he was an academic psychologist who was best known for developing a system of career classification known as the Holland code or Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, Conventional (RIASEC) system.

Typically, there are four different categories in this test. The first category is to figure out if the quiz taker is either an introvert or an extrovert. The next category finds out if you are more of an intuitionist or a sensing person. The third category asks you questions to figure out if you live your life following your head by thinking about most actions or using all of your logic to make your decisions. If this sounds like you then you are considered a thinker. Do you live your life more by following your heart? If you care about how your actions will affect the others around you or you’re more worried about their concerns; you are most likely a feeler. The last category sorts your personality between judging and perceiving.

Why not give it try – find out what your personality traits are: You can decode each letter based on your results:

  • Extraversion (E)
  • Feeling (F)
  • Introversion (I)
  • Intuitive (N)
  • Judging (J)
  • Perceiving (P)
  • Sensing (S)
  • Thinking (T)

Here are personality traits and their best suited career forces:

ENFJ – you are a people-lover who is energetic, articulate, and diplomatic. You are most suited to be: a minister, advertising executive, public relations specialist, corporate coach/trainer, sales manager, employment specialist, or a human resources professional.

ENFP – you are curious and confident creative type who sees possibilities everywhere. You are most suited to be one of the following: landscape architect, journalist, advertising creative director, consultant, restaurateur, or an event planner.

ENTJ – you are a natural born leader who is a logical, analytical, and good strategic planner. You are most suited to become: a physician, executive, lawyer, market research analyst, or a venture capitalist.

ENTP – this type is for the enterprising creative people who enjoy new challenges. You are most suited to be one of the following: reporter, entrepreneur, real estate developer, advertising creative director, marketing director, or a politician/political consultant.

ESFJ – you are a realist who is quick to make practical decisions. You are most suited to become: A chef, insurance Sales agent, a pharmacist, lawyer, project manager, or a judge. 

ESFP – you are lively and playful and one who values common sense. You are most suited to be: child welfare counselor, bartender, primary care physician, actor, interior designer, or an environmental scientist.   

ESTJ – you are a gregarious traditionalist who is motivated to help others. You are most suited to be either of the following: a registered nurse, sales representative, nurse/health care worker, social worker, public relations account executive, or loan officer.

ESTP – you are a pragmatist who loves excitement and excels in a crisis. You are most suited to be: military officer, detective, banker, investor, entertainment agent, or a sports coach.

INFJ – you are a thoughtful creative people driven person with firm principles and personal integrity. You are most suited to be one of the following; veterinarian, therapist, mental health counselor, social worker, human resources diversity manager, organizational development consultant, or a customer relations manager.

INFP – you are a sensitive idealist who is motivated by deeper personal values. You are most suited to be one of the following: fine artist, graphic designer, psychologist, therapist, writer, editor, physical therapist or a development trainer.

INTJ – you are a creative perfectionist who prefers to do their own thing. You are most suited to become: a microbiologist, investment banker, personal financial advisor, software developer, economist, or executive.

INTP – you are independent and a creative problem solver. You are most suited to be: a college professor, computer programmer, software designer, financial analyst, architect, or economist.

ISTJ – you are a hard worker who values their responsibilities and commitments. You are most suited to be: a systems administration, auditor, accountant, chief financial officer, an engineer, or government employee.

ISFP – you are a warm and sensitive type who likes to help people in tangible ways. You are most suited to become: jeweler, fashion designer, physical therapist, massage therapist, landscape architect, or a storekeeper.

ISFJ – you are modest and a determined worker who enjoys helping others. You are most suited to become one of the following: dentist, elementary school teacher, librarian, franchise owner, or a customer service representative.    

ISTP – you are a straightforward and honest person who prefers action to conversation. You are most suited to become one of the following: police officer, civil engineer, economist, pilot, data communications analyst, or emergency room physician.

Looking for career advice? Choosing a college or career is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Make sure you get all the help you need. Go to the College Mouse career directory to find a career counselor near you.

Or sign up for our upcoming Keys to Career Success course. We will walk you through the steps you need to follow as you chart your career journey – from how to narrow your career options, choose a college major and decide where to study, all the way to how to plan your job search, switch careers, and position yourself for your dream job. Click here to sign up



Written by:  John Ingram

John Ingram is a former Marine, a retired Soldier, engineer, and self proclaimed geek. He is located in Maryland and is currently a freelance writer.

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