Career Planning

Exploring Careers and Majors

4-year Career Success Plan

Career Development & Job Search Classes

Researching Employers & Industries

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.

Self-Assessment

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
Personality assessments
Knowdell Motivated Skills Card Sort
Knowdell Career Values Card Sort
Strong Interest Inventory
Call (251) 460-6188 to make an appointment to complete an assessment or come by Career Services.
 
 
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.

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Career Development & Job Search Classes

CP 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. 

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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

4-Year Plan

 

Freshman Year

Looking for Options

Sophomore Year

Making Decisions

Junior Year

Defining Choices

Senior Year

Realizing Goals

Explore

  • Visit Career Services to research career fields

  • Consult a career advisor to identify your interests, strengths, skills and values

  • Make a tentative selection of a major

  • Work with your academic advisor for the best advice on course selection

  • Evaluate career choices based on national trends and forecasts
  • Explore the academic and practical requirements for entering a profession
  • Make a firm decision about your major
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals in fields of interest
  • Research and explore businesses/organizations in your field
  • Target and research specific organizations and key employers

Experience

  • Job shadow in a field of interest
  • Obtain a summer job or internship related to your field of interest
  • Gain professional work experience through Cooperative Education or Internships.  Many employers hire these students upon graduation
  • Continue to gain work experience through Co-op or Internships
  • Assume leadership roles in student and professional associations and in campus and community organizations
  • Conduct a mock interview
  • Gain experience through an internship or research project

Engage

  • Get involved on campus and in the community
  • Establish a good GPA
  • Begin to develop and refine your resume
  • Activate your Jaguar Job Link account and upload your resume
  • Participate in campus/community organizations
  • Work toward maintaining a good GPA
  • Begin to develop skills that set you apart
  • Strategically develop resumes and cover letters for your career choice
  • Attend career fairs to network with employers
  • Consult with Career Services to build your search strategies
  • Continue to consult with Career Services to develop your job search strategies
  • Attend career fairs to seek career opportunities
  • Interview with prospective employers identified
  • Continue to actively use Jaguar Job Link

 

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Researching Employers & Industries

USA Career Services Sponsored Resources:

Comprehensive General Sites:

Government/Non-Profit:

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