It’s never too early to start exploring career options, and doing so can help you get the most out of your time at SPU. A career is not something that is chosen at a certain moment in time, but rather something that is built throughout life.
Knowing how to explore a range of possibilities, to gradually build a professional reputation and network, and to be prepared to respond to opportunities as they arise will serve you well not only at graduation, but immediately — as you make choices about your major, extracurricular activities, summer jobs, internships, and more.
Many students come to college with a short list of career ideas. But there are more than 30,000 job titles in the U.S. today, and more are being created every year! The following resources are a good place to start learning about career options:
- Career Launch.Career Launch helps students create professional relationships and launch effective job and internship searches in the hidden job market, especially for students with few or no connections.
- Pathway U. A science-based tool designed to help you understand your interests, values, personality, and workplace preferences. It provides a predictive fit and pathways to design your educational journey towards a career and employer you will love.
- O*Net. A comprehensive database of worker attributes and job characteristics. Find in-depth information about jobs, or use a list of your skills to find matching occupations.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook. A nationally recognized source of career information produced by the U.S. Department of Labor and revised every two years. Describes working conditions, what workers do on the job, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
- Riley Guide. A gateway for job searches and career exploration, with links to more than 1,600 high-quality resources.
Although the internet can provide a seemingly infinite amount of information, the best way to find a career that is a good fit for you is to leave your laptop to meet with people who are willing to share their insights and to visit various work environments. Do this by:
O*NET Career Exploration Tools
O*NET is the nation's primary source of occupational information. The O*NET database contains hundreds of occupation-specific descriptors, and is continually updated with feedback from a broad range of workers in each occupation.
O*NET Ability Profiler: Individuals can use the O*NET Ability Profiler to identify strengths as well as areas for additional training and education, and to identify occupations that fit their abilities.
O*NET Interest Profiler: A self-assessment career exploration tool that can help students discover work activities and occupations that they would like and find exciting. They can use their interest results to explore the world of work.
O*NET Work Importance Locator / Profiler: This self-assessment allows users to identify what is important to them in a job and identify occupations that may be satisfying based on the similarity between their work values (such as achievement, autonomy, and conditions of work) and the characteristics of the occupations.