What Career You Should Have, Based On Five Big Personality Traits

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What Career You Should Have, Based On Five Big Personality Traits

When you finally get accepted into the college of your choice, it doesn't end the agonizing decisions you have to make — it begins them. Now that you know where you're going to be, you have to decide if you're going to live in the dorms or off campus and if you'll live by yourself or with roommates.

But most important of all, you have to figure out what you'll be studying and what your major will be. "What's your major?" is the ultimate ice-breaker, and it is what school officials will need to know in order to steer you in the right direction when you register for classes. 

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It can be excruciating trying to decide on a course study that will keep your interest and hopefully provide you with the materials you'll need for your future, especially in your career. But one study may have the answer.

A 2016 study that reviewed 12 studies from of 13,389 students found that students with specific personality traits have a tendency to major in certain subjects.

Psychologist Anna Vedel of Aarhus University in Denmark reported finding, "consistent big five personality groups across academic majors. The big five personality traits are the best accepted and most commonly used model of personality in academic psychology.

"By taking into account some general personality characteristics of student populations, teachers and instructors may be better equipped to the task of structuring the learning environment in a way that engages the students, makes them feel comfortable and facilitates their learning process," Vedel wrote.

If you're having trouble figuring out a major, take the big five personality test and see how you score. Let your strongest characteristic help you decide on your course of study.

The big five personality traits are a guide to help you decide on your academic major. The big five traits match up to the following majors:

1. Extroversion: law, political science, economics, and medicine

People with this trait are enthusiastic, are people persons, love to talk, are very emotionally expressive, and they tend to gain energy in social situations. 

So, naturally, they would match up well with a bold career that also allows them to be their ourspoken selves, such as a career in the law or medical fields.

2. Agreeableness: social work, nursing, hospitality management

These individuals are trustworthy, generous, kind, and like to help other people.

With these qualities in mind, choosing a career path that allows these individuals the opportunity to showcase their caring natures and drive to help others is ideal.

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3. Openness: art, psychology, women/gender studies, language arts

This is a very good quality to have, and it means that you have a lot of imagination, creativity, and insight and that you're interested in many different kinds of things.

Obviously, this could go in a lot of ways. These individuals have tons of choices. They can let their creative juices really flow and choose an artistic path, or perhaps put their deep insight to the test with something like a gender studies focus.

4. Conscientiousness: accounting, architecture, biology, urban planning, journalism, and aeronautics

Some people believe that this is the best trait to have, as it means you're self-disciplined, scrupulous, meticulous, careful and have a need to achieve.

This could flourish into many different options as individuals with a lot of discipline and ambition can succeed at practically anything they put their minds to.

5. Neuroticism: theater, history, and philosophy

This one is all about emotional instability, since you might guess with mood swings, anxiety, and irritability.

So, channeling your energy into something like the performing arts can make for a successful career path.

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Christine Schoenwald is a writer and performer. She's had articles in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, and Woman's Day. Visit her website or and her Instagram.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on January 27, 2016 and was updated with the latest information.

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