Strategies for Determining a Career Path

Choosing a career path is a big decision. It can influence a lot about your time at UConn and it’s something that well-meaning friends and family won’t stop asking you about.

While it seems like you are deciding what you are going to do the rest of your life, that is rarely the case. Most people have several careers over their lifetime, and starting on one path does not “close doors” on other options. That said, at some point you will need to make a decision about what to do after graduation, and there are several strategies for determining a career path.

Explore based on your major

If you have a major you like, research what you can do with your major using The Major Experience (TME). Check out TME’s “What Can I Do With This Major?” resource to see popular industries, occupations, and types of employers for your major. Look at “Majors to Careers” to see what alumni have done with your major, both immediately after graduation and later in their careers. You can even talk to alumni for personalized advice through the Husky Mentor Network, which is an online platform that has alumni you can connect with to talk about their career journeys.

Explore based on industry or company

Many majors will prepare you for a variety of career paths. Even specific occupations like accounting, human resources, and social media management are employed by countless companies across every industry. Rather than thinking about what you want to do, think about where you want to work.

Use Vault to research industries. Start by eliminating ones you know you don’t want to work in, and learn more about outlook, occupations, and resources and associations for the industries that are remaining.

Once you have some industries in mind, you can explore companies in these industries utilizing Handshake and LinkedIn. Handshake has information about companies that recruit at UConn and more: see their company profile, job postings, and upcoming career fairs and info sessions. LinkedIn is another great tool for following companies and learning more about employees and job opportunities.

Use this information to develop a target company list and explore job postings and occupations at those companies that relate to your skills and interests.

Explore based on your values, interests, personality, and skills

Another way to approach exploring for a career path is to explore your values, interests, personality, and skills and find occupations that align with you. Many students know they want to make a difference, earn a certain amount of money, or have a certain work/life balance. These are all important factors to consider. Focus 2 has mini assessments on all of these dimensions, and your results will allow you to explore suggested occupations that fit with your values, interests, personality, and skills.

Pick the strategy that resonates most with you or use a combination of them to find a career path that’s right for you. Schedule an appointment with a Career Coach to discuss any of these strategies more in-depth.

By Kelsey Keefe
Kelsey Keefe Career Consultant Kelsey Keefe