5 majors for self-starters

A student works with his back to the camera in an art lab with various tools and lights around him

While there are many reasons to choose a major, one of the biggest is likely what it might do for you after college. What will you learn and apply in your academic program to get that meant-to-be career? There are a lot (a LOT!) of academic options to choose from at Colorado State, and some have a clearer path to careers than others. Maybe you’re not sure of the exact career you want, but you know you want to be your own boss, set your own expectations and goals, and have more autonomy than a traditional career might allow. Maybe you are a self-starter. Here are some majors that can open up a myriad of future career options.

#1. Business Administration

CSU’s Business major is a robust program with 10 options for focusing your academic journey. With a wide range of options that span from  finance, to real estate, to human resources and even marketing, you’ll get to the root of your interest area and have opportunities to experience the foundational aspects of those areas, as well. While you find your business niche, you’ll have an option to minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, designed for students who may see themselves running a startup or being a consultant or freelancer. This kind of program can be especially helpful in preparing you for the unexpected details that come with a career outside of the corporate world.

#2. Art, Graphic Design Concentration

Graphic design is … everywhere. From entertainment to retail to higher education, the need for skilled graphic artists is likely never going to die down. That’s why the Graphic Design concentration within CSU’s Art (B.F.A.) major is a perfect choice for the creative individual who wants to graduate with options that span multiple fields. Want to work in the medical field? Marketing? Television and movies? The outdoor industry? Every single entity that operates a website, utilizes brochures or flyers, or sends emails to clients/customers will need a solid graphic designer who can deliver graphics. The best part? Many graphic designers operate in a freelance capacity, often taking on clients from all these fields. Being your own boss, setting your own hours, and never getting bored with your work is at the heart of the self-starter life.

#3. Computer Science

Much like graphic designers, skilled computer scientists will always be employable, and likely can work in almost any industry. Many companies have entire teams of computer scientists who have specializations beyond the basics, and that’s why CSU’s Computer Science major offers a plethora of concentrations to help you narrow your focus and build up a resume that will showcase your interests and skills within the field. As a computer scientist with both foundational knowledge and specialized skills, you’ll have options in traditional employment, contract work, and beyond.

#4. Interior Architecture and Design

You may not find it easy to locate an interior designer who isn’t a self-starter. By nature, this job allows you to be your own boss, and even develop a team/company if you wish to. The sky truly is the limit here, and CSU’s Interior Architecture and Design major is one of the best around, offering you foundational studies in art, architecture, spacial planning, safety and compliance, and much more. As you progress in your program, you’ll hone your skills, your creative eye, and learn all the pieces that go into becoming a professional designer, often taking individual clients as well as clients that need entire buildings designed. You run the show here, and we love that for you.

#5. Communication Studies

How does CSU’s Communication Studies major apply to the self-starter mindset? For one, its foundational work centers on giving you life skills that extend beyond any degree program and into any field: critical thinking, advanced verbal and written communication, deep self-reflection, leadership, and more. More specifically, the major touches on three areas: film and media studies, relational and organizational communication, and rhetoric and civic engagement — allowing you to both learn in multiple disciplines and focus your studies toward your interests. Lastly, you’ll be able to select an accelerated option and graduate early, getting you out into the world faster to work in your startup, begin consulting or freelancing in industries like media/film, corporate communications and employee development, and even grad school.

Want to explore other ways to connect your major with your future career?

Check out these majors that nurture self-expression and where they can take you.


Prairie Smallwood

Prairie Smallwood is a writer and content creator for the Office of Admissions at Colorado State University. She is passionate about education and exploration, and knows that going to college can be both an adventure and an overwhelming experience. She aims to create content that helps students through that journey — the wonderful, the scary, and everything in between.