Career and Major Exploration
If you are actively exploring what you can do with a major, potential career options or you are making a career transition, take the time to consider your possibilities. Finding the career that best suits you involves making the best informed decisions about yourself and what opportunities are around you. Our career counselors are available to speak with you to help you through this exploration process. To make an appointment call our office at 508-626-4625. We are located in room 412 in the McCarthy Center and please review our Career Guide.
Knowing and understanding your specific and unique values, interests, personality, and skills (VIPS) is the first step in finding your ultimate career path. Please reference a sample four-year plan!
a) Values—what is important to you in your lifestyle?
b) Interests—what do you like to do?
c) Personality—what kind of environment do you want to be in?
d) Skills—what are you good at?
Come speak with a career counselor to discuss these categories or you can explore them independently using the following tools. Be sure to make an appointment with a career counselor after you have completed the independent work to discuss your results.
FOCUS-2: Download the student workbook or reference our quick guide! This self-paced, interactive tool can help you match your individual skills, aptitudes, values, interests and goals with potential occupations. The access ID code is rams.
Knacks breakthrough technology uncovers your talents and potential career paths and reveals the strengths that make you stand out—all from the way you play games. Students play for free and get their results (knacks) immediately after gameplay. Knack matches employers with the right students by identifying uniquely qualified candidates through their knacks. Employers are using Knack in their recruiting today, so students already on Knack have a head start. Within the Knack app, students can browse and apply to job postings not available elsewhere.
CHOOSING A MAJOR
Picking a major can provide an academic foundation and is an important part of starting the journey to finding your career. Career Services has compiled a list of all the majors at FSU along with helpful information. Each major includes information such as the average starting salary, job outlook, and sample career paths! Check it out and find out more about your major today! You can also review the website from FOCUS 2 and especially review, “What can I do with this Major” to find information about the relation between specific majors to numerous and varied careers. This website lists majors, describes what you can do with that major and provides strategies on how to achieve your goal. Please log in to your existing account or register at the bottom of the page for a new account. Access code: rams!
Once you have gone through some self-reflection it is time to determine what career suits you. While we encourage you to schedule an appointment and meet with one of our career counselors to help you through this process, there are many ways to research jobs, careers and industries on your own.
a) O*net: An incredible resource showing career titles, descriptions, education requirements, potential salaries and related occupations.
b) MassCIS: A free resource which combines occupations, labor market, and education information to help you explore potential careers. No username and password are needed. Simply enter Framingham for the city and 01701 for the zip code and press sign in.
c) Networking: One of the most effective ways to find a job. You often can hear about job openings through networking contacts even before the job is advertised. Some jobs are never posted on traditional sites at all. Your network begins with friends, extended family, and co-workers and grows from there. Whether you are a college student or a working professional, you will benefit from establishing professional contacts in the industry or career path you plan to pursue.
d) Informational Interviewing: A very helpful networking tool to build strong professional contacts and explore career options. It doesn’t need to be intimidating but rather a brief meeting with an experienced professional in a variety of fields to gain valuable perspectives and up-to-date information relating to your selected career path. Think of questions to ask beforehand. For example: (1) How did that person end up in the career he or she did? (2) What is most rewarding or challenging about the field? (3) Does this person have some suggestions on avenues to pursue in the quest of entering that particular field? There are many types of questions to ask, but this IS NOT the time to ask for a job. Some meetings can be casual conversations during on-campus events, professional networking meetings or social gatherings. For more detailed information please review our Career Guide.
e) LinkedIn: a social media site, “is the world’s largest professional network with over 300 million members in 200 countries and territories around the globe.” College students can begin to build an online professional presence by including brief descriptions of previous work, volunteer experience, leadership activities, completed college courses and relevant skills. Use LinkedIn to research specific companies and discover new professional contacts in the field you plan to enter following graduation. You have many options to join specific LinkedIn groups related to your college and professional associations.
f) Professional associations and affiliations: Identify resources offered by specific industries through their professional associations and groups. These can be identified and researched on-line. Our career counselors are here to help you with this.
g) Career Fairs and on-campus opportunities: Attend the events offered through the Framingham State University Office of Career Service and Employer Relations. Speak with employers and ask questions with individuals who are here specifically to meet you.