Understanding the relationship between majors and careers and considering careers that typically correlate with certain majors is usually the best approach. Selecting a major appropriate for you requires research, time, and a willingness to explore more than one option. In addition, keep in mind that in many cases, there is more than one avenue or course of study you may pursue in order to achieve your end result- your future career! Many times, the process of major and career exploration will involve experimenting with various plans and adjusting your future map accordingly.
Career exploration strategies
Career research can help you learn about factors such as daily job responsibilities, job growth for a specific career type, and average salary. Career research can happen quickly through online sources or at a deeper level through informational interviews, networking, or career events. Consider the methods below to complete your research.
O*NET provides excellent information on jobs and describes the tasks performed, education required, wages and employment outlook and a listing of knowledge, skills and abilities needed to do the work.
To identify career paths tailored to your interests, take a short and easy interest inventory at My Next Move. To access the assessment from that webpage, click the box on the far right that says “I’m not sure.”
Occupational outlook handbook
The Occupational outlook handbook is a guide to help you find information on job responsibilities, work environment, required education and skills, salary and outlook and related occupations that match your interests.
Job search engines
Both Handshake and Indeed.com list thousands of opportunities throughout the year. These resources give you a snapshot of real jobs and internships available to students and new college grads so you have a better idea of what employers want and the skills you’ll need.
Conduct an informational interview with someone working in your field of interest to gain insights into what he or she does. The information can help confirm that you will enjoy the career field or eliminate it from your list. Before conducting an in-person, Skype, or phone informational interview, read about how these interviews can benefit you and strategies and success tips!
Job fairs and other career events such as networking receptions are a great way to find out more about jobs and what employers are looking for. Attend as many events as you can. Search the Events area on Handshake.
An internship allows you to “test drive” a career before you commit to it full time. That way, you can explore careers and organizations that interest you. Likewise, you are able to gain knowledge of the professional work world and develop a professional network. Handshake lists hundreds of internships that you can explore, and you can also speak to your department’s internship coordinator to discuss opportunities.
All successful people give back to their communities. Not only will you feel good by volunteering and starting that pattern of success, but you can explore a career and possibly build a network. Volunteering gives you a chance to try out a career and learn more about an industry. Plus, it feels good!