Suggestions to explore careers

You may need a specific degree if the career that you want requires a license such as a Certified Public Accountant, Mental Health Counselor, K-12 Teacher, is in a field of health care such as Radiation Therapy, Nursing, Physical Therapy, or is in the field of science and technology like computer science or engineering.  

Employers may be just as interested in the transferable skills that you have as they are in your degree. Transferable skills can include working in a team structure, solving problems and making decisions, obtaining and processing information, creating and/or editing written reports, and verbally communicating with people inside and outside the organization.  Keep this in mind as you use some of the following strategies to explore potential careers.

When starting your research of careers, there are multiple websites that will allow you to research specific occupations.  These websites provide relevant information about the nature of an occupation in terms of required education, skills & training, common tasks & duties, and work environment.  You may also be able to find salary ranges and the employment outlook for these occupations as well.  

Rather than seeking a job, informational interviews allow you to gather firsthand knowledge about an occupation that you are considering.  As the interviewer, you can ask questions that may pertain to required education & training, typical workdays, industry trends, networking opportunities, etc.

Find a student organization that helps you explore different majors and careers.  These organizations often times have career focuses brought in through career-related discussions and/or guest speakers from different fields.

Student organizations related to UWL majors may have an established network with working professionals.  This may give you the opportunity to start networking with professionals in an occupation that you are exploring. 

 

What Can I Do with a Major in ... ? websites may be helpful in showing students how specific majors may connect to careers.  They may also suggest additional experiences that may improve your marketability as you enter a particular career field.

job shadow can provide you with a glimpse of what an individual actually does in their occupation.  As you see what an individual does in their daily routine, you can ask questions similar to those in an informational interview.  This type of experience may give you insight on whether and occupation will be a be a good fit for you.  

Even if you are actively seeking a job, attending career fairs during the academic year could be a great way for you to find out about internships and jobs associated with the career fields that you exploring.  This would also give you chance to network with employers and learn of the skills that they will be looking for in future employees.  

Visit Handshake and view job postings in you area of interest. Job postings may allow you to see required skills, educational background, and potential salary ranges for occupational areas that you are considering.   

An internship can give you the opportunity to try out a career even before you leave college.  This firsthand experience may provide you with important information about the careers & employers that you are exploring.  It could also help you to begin establishing a professional network.