Exploring Careers and Majors
Career Services is available to assist you in the process of researching and exploring careers and majors. While not always an easy task, it is important to make the effort to research occupations and/or college majors in which you have an interest. Remember, these interests may change over the next few years and that's OK! You may continue this process of exploration until you have a good sense of what majors and occupations best suit you. Exploring information early in your academic career enables you to gain exposure to the many career opportunities and majors that are available to you.
The process of choosing a major or career begins with self-assessment. Career Services offers free career assessments to help you learn more about your interests, personality, skills, and values, allowing you to generate ideas for majors and careers to research. A Career Advisor will work with you to determine the appropriate assessment and to discuss your results.
Available Assessments:Click here to learn more about the FOCUS 2 on-line assessment
Helpful Resources To Research Careers And Majors
Career resource links can be very helpful resource tools. For maximum personal results, we encourage you to use these in conjunction with a Career Services advisor.
What Can I Do With This Major? This detailed resource includes information on over 80 majors and related links! While many USA majors are listed, this list does not represent all majors/programs at USA.
The Career Interest Game (University of Missouri) - Based on John Holland's theory of work environments and personality, this interactive resource helps you explore your interests as related to career possibilities.
The Riley Guide - this highly respected career resource offers information on self-assessment, career exploration, job searching and more!
Occupational Outlook Handbook- described as a resource offering information on the hundreds of occupations that provide the overwhelming majority of jobs in the United States. Each occupational profile describes the duties required by the occupation, the work environment of that occupation, the typical education and training needed to enter the occupation, the median pay for workers in the occupation, and the job outlook into the next 10 years for that occupation.
Career Development & Job Search Classes
IST 450: The Job Campaign
The ability to make effective decisions through the application of critical thinking
and research is considered a life-long learning skill. This course provides a practical
approach to career development and is designed to help students develop strategies
for obtaining suitable employment and for making effective career choices. Emphasis
is on the principles, methods, and practice in achieving career goals through career
research, preparing resumes, writing letters of application, practicing job interview
techniques, and identifying prospective employers. Typically three sections are offered
in the fall and spring semesters and up to two sections during summer semesters.
This class is an excellent elective class for any student. Topics of discussion include:
- Career Exploration - finding the right career for your personality, skills, interests, and major
- Setting Goals - for your career path, making a career plan, setting priorities
- Resume Development - various resume styles and tips
- Career Correspondence - cover letters and letters of interest, follow-up letters, thank you letters
- Interview Skills - how to sell yourself and get the job, interview styles, handling tough questions
- Job Search Strategies - personal contact and networking, print and web searches, job fairs
Please check the class schedule for course offerings.
4-Year Career Success Plan
Career and educational advising are an integral part of the comprehensive services available to USA students. As early as their freshman year, students are encouraged to consult with a Career Advisor to begin formulating educational and career plans. Career Advisors can assist students at any point in their educational development to strengthen their college profiles, enhance their employability skills, understand opportunities available through Career Services, and discuss any career-related concerns.
Consult with a Career Advisor to:
- Identify your interests and strengths
- Understand how your interests match educational majors
- Select and evaluate educational majors
- Explore career opportunities related to your educational major
- Evaluate career choices based on national trends and forecasts
- Begin developing skills that set you apart
- Become aware of cooperative education and internship experiences
- Strengthen your ability to launch a successful career search
- Explore and prepare for graduate and professional school opportunities
- Strategically develop resumes & cover letters for your career choice
Looking for Options
Researching Employers & Industries
USA Career Services Sponsored Resources:
Comprehensive General Sites:
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Occupational Outlook Handbook
- O*Net Online
- The Riley Guide
- Quintessential Careers