Career Exploration & Development
With so many majors to choose from, it can be hard to choose the best fit for you. Sometimes what you thought was the perfect choice doesn’t turn out like you expected. Then there are the “what ifs”:
- What if you’re interested in a lot of different things?
- What if you don’t feel like you’re interested in much at all?
- What if you don’t get accepted to your major, college, or program of choice?
There is a seemingly endless list of career options out there – how do you find out what exists and what is right for you? Keep in mind that for many careers, your major isn’t the most important qualification. An interest or passion in the field, well-rounded experience (student orgs, part-time jobs, internships, volunteering), and a successful academic record matter more than what you studied.
Choosing a Major & Career
It is essential to realize that there are multiple factors that can contribute to your selection of a major and career. This should include a reflection on your interests, abilities, personality, and values. The amount that each of these factors influence your decision will vary from person to person.
Many students do not know what major to choose when they step foot on campus. You are attending college to learn, but you are learning about yourself too. Try some of these things to help you explore and learn!
- Meet with a career counselor to discuss strategies to help you uncover or narrow down your interests, including utilizing a career assessment.
- Take an assessment using FOCUS 2, a 24/7 online, interactive, self-guided career and education planning system designed to help students make decisions about their future career goals and education plans. Please be advised that by accessing FOCUS 2, you will be leaving the UNLV website.
- Check out the resources available through the UNLV Libraries Career Research Guide to learn more about different career options.
- Talk to your professors, academic advisors, parents, and peers about your ideas and what they have experienced.
- Take classes related to different fields (majors) to narrow down your choices.
- Attend a Career Services job fair or event to explore career possibilities
As you have new experiences in college, you’ll probably find that your interests and preferences change and develop, which will help with your decision.
There are many ways to build your resume and get valuable experience. Whether an experience is paid or unpaid, does not negate the opportunity to network, build your skillset, and enhance your resume.
Consider engaging in some of the following experiences to grow your resume:
- Get a part-time job (on or off campus)
- Complete an internship
- Earn a minor
- Get involved through campus activities and student organizations
- Volunteer or participate in service-learning
- Study abroad
No matter the industry, today’s workforce is more competitive than ever. Therefore, it is vital that you do all that you can to develop your skillset during your time at UNLV and continue these efforts as you progress through your professional life.
We encourage you to take a moment to review the Professional Development Competency Model developed by Wake Forest University, and work to continually seek out opportunities to cultivate your competencies.
Additionally, keep an eye on our events calendar for various professional development opportunities throughout the year.