Career and Major Exploration
Figuring out the right major, career path, or life plan can be overwhelming. Make the process a little bit easier by scheduling an appointment with the Center for Career Development to create your personalized plan. We work with you to identify your strengths, interests, and weaknesses... and help you find your place in the business world!
Schedule an appointment on Handshake.
Reverse Engineering Careers
One great way to figure out if you're on the right track is to reverse engineer the paths of others in similar professions. Essentially, you'll select your dream career or the career of someone whom you admire. Then, you'll work backwards to determine if it's a fit and what steps you should take to pursue that path. We've broken down the process into three simple steps:
- Select an alum/professional and analyze their professional timeline
- Choose a few job descriptions that peak your interest and identify commonly required skills and qualifications
- Conduct informational interviews with recruiters and/or practioners in your field
Research an Alum
- What was their major? Do they have an advanced degree?
- What experience do they have?
- Did they hold any part-time jobs while in school?
- Did they have an internship? What class year did they have an internship? (e.g. sophomore or junior year)
- What certifications do they hold?
To find an alum or someone with your target career, check out WVU Connect or the LinkedIn Alumni Tool.
Breakdown Job Descriptions
- What is the level of education required? Bachelors’? Masters? PhD?
- How many years of experience do you need? Is it specific to an industry or field?
- What soft skills would make you successful in this role?
- Do you need any technical skills or certifications to be considered?
- Do an informational interview. Learn first-hand about your chosen profession by asking questions about tasks, business environment, and educational background.
- Shadow a professional. Follow someone in your career choice as they go through a typical day or week on the job. Ask questions and observe the work.
Personalized Career Action Plan
Now that you've analyzed career paths and associated job descriptions, it's time to figure out where you currently have gaps in your education, experience, and skills. This will allow you to figure out the steps you need to draft your career path.
We've created an editable, customizable Google Doc so that you can keep yourself organized.