Explore Careers and Majors
Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? If you don’t know, you’re not alone. Some students come to college having already chosen their career path. Many others come to college unsure of their academic major and career choice. And students who have chosen a major sometimes decide to change their major. Feel free to contact the Waldorf Career Center if you’re undecided. We’d like to help!
As you explore careers and majors, you may find the following resources helpful.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a publication of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics that includes information about what workers do on the job, working conditions, training and education, earnings, and the job outlook for hundreds of different occupations. The handbook is revised every two years.
O*NET is the nation’s primary source of occupational information. Find detailed information on job tasks, skills, interests, education, wages and employment trends, related occupations and more. The O*NET, developed under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration, is continually updated by surveying a broad range of workers from each occupation.
IHaveaPlanIowa is Iowa's state-designated career information system, established by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission in partnership with the Iowa Department of Education and Iowa Workforce Development. To access the career exploration tools, choose College Student, then choose the Career Planning tab. Sign in and create an account for the opportunity to complete six career assessments in Learn About Yourself and use them to find career options that are right for you. Then use Explore Careers to find detailed information about the careers that are of interest to you.
Learn about career options that relate to different academic majors with these pages titled What Can I do With a Major in?
Job shadowing is an excellent way to learn about careers. During a job shadowing experience, you follow a professional through his or her workday. You’ll have the chance to observe workplace activities and the company culture. Make the most of your experience by asking lots of questions. Be sure to dress appropriately for this professional activity. If you’re not sure what to wear, ask the individual that you will be shadowing. After the experience, send a thank you note to the individual you shadowed to express your appreciation for the time he or she spent with you. Quintessential Careers website offers advice on how to Research Companies and Careers Through Job Shadowing. Contact the Waldorf Career Center for additional information and guidance with job shadowing experiences.
Informational interviewing is a career exploration activity that involves making an appointment to visit with an individual who works in a career that you would like to learn more about. Be sure to dress professionally for the meeting and be prepared with your list of questions, a notepad, and pen. When preparing your questions, keep in mind that these meetings generally last about 30 minutes. After your meeting, send a thank you note to the person you interviewed to thank him or her for the time spent with you. To learn more about informational interviewing, contact the Waldorf Career Center or review the on-line Informational Interviewing Tutorial found on the Quintessential Careers website.