Students

Overview

EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS

Are you undecided about your future? Maybe you have no idea what you want to do. Maybe you know what you want to major in, but don’t know what the career options are for graduates in that field. Choosing a career or occupation isn’t easy, but you are not alone. Many students are undecided in their academic and career paths when they begin college. In fact, over half of students will change their major at least once during their college experience. Most people don’t know exactly what they want to do or change their mind at some point in their lives.

CAREER DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

Career development is a process that happens across a lifespan. It is a 4-step process that often repeats itself as we constantly assess ourselves and our happiness then make changes and adjustments based on our own self assessments.


STEP 1  – SELF AWARENESS

Discover your interests, skills, values and personality. The more you understand about yourself, the clearer your life goals and the way to reach them will become.  Reflect on what would make you satisfied in a job.

Self-Assessment

WHAT IS A SELF-ASSESSMENT?

Self-assessment is a critical first step in choosing a career. Taking time to reflect on your interests, skills and work values will help you find a good match with careers that use those traits.

WHAT ARE ASSESSMENTS?

Assessments are tools to help you better understand yourself and see how your interests, skills and values fit into the work world. The results are just one piece of information you can use when making a career choice. Remember these are not tests and there are no right or wrong answers. The best way to take many career assessments is to not think to hard and go with your gut.

FREE ONLINE ASSESSMENT TOOLS

  • e-Choices
    Designed to help you assess and identify your interest, and match those interest with occupations within the state of Florida. The site also has extensive databases of occupations, colleges, universities, and graduate schools.
  • Florida Virtual Campus (previously FACTS)
    Florida’s official online student advising system! Plan and track educational progress, access career assessment instruments, explore majors and academic programs in Florida colleges and universities.
  • Keirsey Temperament Sorter
    Designed to identify different kinds of personality temperaments and help you assess your preferences. The results will give you a 4-letter personality indicator and explanation of what each means.
  • Motivation Appraisal of Personal Potential (MAPP)
    MAPP identifies your true motivations toward work and allows you to match yourself to job categories to see where you best fit.

FREE ASSESSMENT TOOLS ONLY AVAILABLE AT THE CAREER CENTER

MyPlan
A comprehensive online career planning service featuring assessments on interests, skills, values, and personality types. It provides resources to research majors, careers and colleges including various databases, blogs, and discussion boards with other MyPlan users. MyPlan.com helps students and professionals plan more fulfilling lives by making well-informed decisions about their education and careers. The Career Center can provide an access code for current students to take the assessments at no cost.

Holland’s Self- Directed Search (SDS)
The SDS measures your strengths and interests based on multiple factors and identifies three occupational categories matching your responses from the following six: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Each of the categories leads you to specific occupations that people with responses similar to yours have found satisfying.

Strong Interest Inventory (SII)
The Strong generates an in-depth assessment of your interests among a broad range of occupations, work and leisure activities, and educational subjects. To reveal your interest patterns, it presents results on a variety of complementary themes and scales:

  • General Occupational Themes map out broad interest patterns to describe personalities and preferred work environments (corresponding to Holland’s RIASEC theory).
  • Basic Interest Scales provide more specific information about your areas of interests
    Occupational Scales relate your interest patterns to those of satisfied workers within the occupation.
  • Personal Style Scales describe your preferred style of working, learning, leading, risk-taking, and team participation.
  • A career counselor will determine when these instruments are appropriate for your use. Contact the Career Center for an appointment at: 727-873-4129.

STEP 2  – CAREER EXPLORATION

Gather information and explore majors and career options. Make a list of the career options and occupations that interest you. Research the type of work, tasks, education, salary, etc. for each job. 

Explore and Research

There are many ways to identify occupations that fit your personal profile: reading about them, researching them on the Internet, using self-assessment instruments, talking with professionals in the field, and attending campus career presentations. You can also test out a possible career choice through career-related work experience. To make sure you have the most accurate picture of a career and/or occupation, it’s best to use multiple methods to gather information.

MAJOR RESEARCH

  • What Can I Do With This Major?
    Whether you are exploring multiple majors or searching for information about your chosen field, this site will help you connect majors to careers. Learn about the typical career areas and the types of employers that hire people with each major, as well as strategies to make you a more marketable candidate.
  • The College Major
    Explore this website with resources from The College Board about how to chose a major, read major profiles, and view videos about tips for choosing a major. Learn about how others explored majors, changed majors, and found their right career path through alternative majors.

OCCUPATIONAL EXPLORATION WEBSITES

  • Occupational Information Network (O’Net)
    Maintained by the Department of Labor, this site allows you to find jobs that fit your interest, skills and experience; explore career profiles from the latest labor market data; search for occupations that use your skills; view specific details about occupations and identify related occupations.
  • America’s Career Infonet
    A comprehensive source of occupational information on hundreds of occupations that lists transferable skills used in many occupations, which industries employ people in these occupations, and what compensation you can expect.
  • Career Guide to Industries
    Provides information on available careers by industry, including the nature of the industry, working conditions, employment, occupations in the industry, training and advancement, earnings and benefits, employment outlook, and lists of organizations that can provide additional information.
  • Economic & Employment Projections, 2018 – 2028
    U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics provides the most current projections on where future job growth is expected by industry and occupation and the likely composition of the work force pursuing those jobs.
  • Health Careers
    Comprehensive information on health careers including articles, salary information, FAQs, health care issues, student and practitioner profiles and more.
  • Job Star
    Career Information. Originally developed for California job changers, this site includes articles on career information, links to resources, and lists of books to look for in your local public library.
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin is a professional networking site. Students can create a professional profile and connect to employers in career fields or companies of interest to learn more about what they do. This is also a great tool for keeping in touch with those professionals who can attest to your experiences and skills.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
    The OOH, from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, gives you detailed information on 250 occupations. Each listing addresses the employment outlook, job duties, earnings, working conditions, training, education, qualifications and career advancement.
  • Career Outlook (formerly Occupational Outlook Quarterly)
    This web-publication covers career and work-related topics on new and developing occupations in the 21st century, training opportunities, salary trends, and results of new studies from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Career Outlook offers you the option of reading a “nutshell”  description of the article before you download the complete article in PDF format.
  • Sloan Career Cornerstone Center 
    Comprehensive information for exploring careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, computing and medical fields.

SALARY & COST-OF-LIVING WEBSITES


STEP 3  –  DECISION MAKING

Evaluate your research and make your ‘major’ decision. Talk with an adviser or career counselor who can help you evaluate the information you have collected, suggest additional resources, and guide you through the decision-making process.

Match Your Major to a Career

WHAT CAN I DO WITH A MAJOR IN…?

Although many students think there is a major to match each career field, this is not always the case. There are thousands of careers in which the work you do is more related to the skills (i.e. critical thinking, communication, problem-solving, leadership, etc.) gained from your educational experiences than the specific knowledge you’ve learned. For example, there are bank managers who majored in history, speech writers who majored in math, and publicists who majored in French. The important thing to consider is whether or not the major is helping you prepare for your future career.

Approach the selection of your major in the same way you approached your choice of a career field. Research the majors offered. Talk with academic advisors, faculty and other students in majors that interest you.

Some things to consider

  • What courses would you take?
  • What knowledge, skills and experience would you gain from a given major?
  • Are the subjects you’ll be studying of interest to you?
  • Do you have the aptitude to do well?
  • What types of careers have graduates with these majors gone into after graduation?

Once you’ve decided on a career field, the next step is to choose a major. The Academic Advising office can assist you in choosing a major to help you prepare for your future career.

WEBSITES LINKING MAJORS WITH CAREERS

  • What Can I Do with This Major?
    This compilation of resources includes many majors including others that are not offered at USF St. Petersburg.
  • Florida Virtual Campus (previously FACTS)
    Florida’s official online student advising system! Plan and track educational progress, access career assessment instruments, explore majors and academic programs in Florida colleges and universities.
  • Major & Career Profiles 
    Operated by CollegeBoard.com., this site provides you the opportunity to learn about more than 700 majors and careers.

Graduate School

Graduate school is a huge investment of your time and money. The key is to know what you want to get out of your education before you make that investment. To consider if graduate school is right for you, this decision should be approached from two directions: First, you have to look inward and analyze your personal strengths, weaknesses, situations, and goals. Second, you need to research to find graduate programs that suit you and will help you achieve your goals.

The links below will provide resources to guide you with this process.

WEBSITES TO HELP YOU SELECT, PREPARE FOR AND APPLY TO GRADUATE & PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL

  • The Princeton Review
    Comprehensive site offering online search for a graduate school that meets your needs, practical consideration for graduate school, masters and doctoral degrees explained and more.
  • Peterson’s Education Center
    Information about colleges and universities, professional schools, graduate programs, distance learning, executive training, private secondary schools, summer opportunities, study abroad, financial aid, test prep and career exploration.
  • Graduateguide.com
    Information about graduate programs, financial aid, value of choosing an accredited school and distance learning programs.
  • Gradschools.com
    The Student Information Section offers an excellent Graduate School Handbook; an on-line workshop for writing a graduate school application essay and tips for improving your chances for acceptance.
  • Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
    Various resources and information to assist with researching a medical career and applying to medical schools.
  • Law School Admissions Council
    Information on a law degree, various law schools and applying to programs.

Before you make a final decision, be sure to explore the academic programs offered at USF St. Petersburg.

USF St. Petersburg Academic Offerings
USF Graduate School Admissions

TEST PREPARATION

GRADUATE ADMISSION TESTS


STEP 4  –  CAREER PLANNING

Develop and career action plan by creating goals and plans to gain the necessary knowledge, skills, and experiences to obtain your dream job. 

Customized Career Consultations

Meet one on one with a Professional Career Advisor in the Career Center! Meetings are private and confidential. Just stop in or call the to schedule an appointment. These appointments are not available on a walk-in basis. We suggest that all students have taken the MyPlan.com career assessments prior to meeting with a Career Advisor.

What to Expect

  • We will support you in your decision making process.
  • We will provide you with resources to effectively determine your career goals.
  • You will be given homework to help you make your decisions.
  • We will ask you lots of questions to help understand you, your skills, interests, values, and personality.

What NOT to Expect

  • We will prescribe a career for you.
  • We have and/or will give you all the answers.
  • That it will take just one visit.