Career Services
  Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose a program?
    Since there are no shortcuts in selecting a major and choosing a career path, you should devote time to gathering accurate career information. It is important to make a well-informed decision, and you will want to consider all your options. This will include finding current statistics and receiving advice from professionals about the options you are considering.

    Many students are too concerned with finding the “right” major. In fact, you will probably find a good fit in a number of majors. The decision you make should be based on an understanding of yourself, as well as an understanding of the academic and career options available.

    Sometimes it takes courage to make the first choice, but remember you can change your mind. Many college students adjust their academic plans and change their majors as they gain more experience and gather additional information.

    Career decision-making is an active process that should begin in your freshman year and continue well beyond graduation. Your career journey will be a constant process of exploring, deciding, and re-evaluating!

How can I find programs that are a good fit for me?
    One way to get started exploring majors and careers is to classify people and careers into six basic types.
    • Realistic
    • Investigative
    • Artistic
    • Social
    • Enterprising
    • Conventional
    Most people have a combination of characteristics that may reflect several types, but usually people resemble one or two types more than the others. Knowing about the interest types can help you identify options for further exploration.

Should I take a career assessment?
    Career assessments are great tools. They can help you think of options you’ve never thought about, or confirm what you are currently considering. They will help you learn more about yourself and tie your interests, abilities, and values to career possibilities.

    Remember, a career test won’t find you a perfect major. Some jobs may not relate to your interests, but others may pleasantly surprise you. They may open up career paths you have never considered and send you on a career journey you never expected!

When should I choose a major?
    While there is no specific time to declare a major, earlier is usually better. Choosing a major will allow you to focus on those classes required for your degree.

How does my major relate to a career?
    When you choose a major, keep in mind you are not always selecting a lifelong career. A biology major can become a biologist and a history major may become a historian. However, many majors can help you gain the knowledge and transferable skills to apply to jobs in many different fields.

    When selecting a major, you are choosing what classes you will take, what you will learn, and what skills you will acquire. Every employer looks for well-rounded workers. A strong education and skills in a variety of areas–from history and English to critical thinking and global awareness–are key elements for future success.

    Keep in mind that most college graduates will likely change jobs and career fields several times in their lives. As a college grad, you will continue to develop your skills and identify areas in the workforce that match your interests.

Should I consider job market demand?
    Since average college graduates will change jobs and career fields at some point in their career journey, it is smart to think about the job market. However, the job market should not be the primary factor used to determine an academic or career choice.

    Job market demand can change rapidly, and the factors affecting it are often unpredictable. The careers in demand when you are a freshman may not be in demand by the time you graduate. It is more important for you to select a major or choose career goals that are genuinely interesting to you.

    New career fields and jobs emerge as a result of changes in technology and economic trends. The career you will have in 10 years may not exist yet!

How can I gain experience and build job skills?
    Internships, summer jobs, part-time jobs, and volunteer activities are great ways to start developing the skills you will need. You should contact Career Services to help you locate internships and part-time jobs, polish your resume, and prepare for interviews.

    Student organizations, athletic teams, and social groups are other ways to build your experiences. They can play an important part in developing greater understanding of yourself and the world of work. Your career goals emerge and transform during these college activities.

    Employers need people with strong communication skills, critical thinking skills, problem solving abilities, computer skills, and leadership/team-oriented skills. A clear career direction is not required to build experience. You can work on the qualities and skills that all employers seek:
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Knowledge
    • Leadership
    • Ethics and integrity
    • Adaptability and life skills
    • Perseverance
    • Continuous learning
    • Career orientation
    • Multicultural tolerance
    • Social responsibility
    • Health
    • Artistic appreciation