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Careers and Your Major

I live a life of curiosity and I get paid for it."
~Larry King, talk show host

Choosing a major and making career decisions are some of the toughest parts of college. Usually the first step involved in making these decisions is "self-assessment" -- that is, critically thinking about what is important to you, what you like and what you're good at. The answers to these kinds of questions will eventually lead you to ideas about a career.

Although this process is never done (just ask a Coe alum or a parent), it is important to begin testing the waters, staying open to new opportunities, taking positive risks and being curious. A pro-active approach to "figuring out" your life will yield much more than just stewing about it.

So, how do you begin the process of self-assessment? ...

Individual Appointments

Your best source of assistance is to come into Career Services for an individual meeting with a Career Counselor. Career Counselors can help you define your interests, skills and values and come up with possible major/career options for you to consider further. To schedule a time to meet, call x8844 from an on-campus telephone, or (319) 399-8844 from off campus. More information contact Administrative Assistant.

Books Available at Career Services

Here is a just a smattering of the books available in our resource library:

  • Career Planning Today
  • What Should I Do with My Life?
  • Do What You Are: discover the perfect career for you
  • Great Jobs for Psychology
  • Majors Careers for Foreign Language Aficionados and Other Multilingual Types
  • Careers for Bookworms and Other Literary Types
  • Major Options: the student's guide to linking college majors and career opportunities during and after college
  • What Color is Your Parachute?
  • Road Trip Nation

Internet Links

The following sites provide general information describing the nature of work in hundreds of occupations. As you explore these sites, look especially for occupations whose daily activities utilize your preferred skills and interests. Look also for those that fit with your personal values and have the potential to provide your desired level of financial stability. Some of these descriptions may challenge your stereotypes of particular occupations and give you ideas about related fields that you've never considered. Try not to limit yourself to searching for one "perfect" occupation -- use these resources to expand your list of possible career options.

You're already on the Internet, why not explore some hotlinks while you're here.

Occupational Outlook
Web Site Revised every two years, the Occupational Outlook Web Site describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, required training and education, earnings, and expected job prospects in about 250 occupations. This site offers several search options, including an occupational cluster search that allows you to browse related occupations.

Helping you make smarter career decisions.

America's Career InfoNet
U.S. Department of Labor in partnership with the state operated public Employment Service. Use the occupation search feature to access detailed data on employment outlook and earnings for specific occupations. The site also offers an excellent career video library - a chance to view online video of a career you might consider exploring.