Note: See References for the source of this page's content.

Ask yourself what you want; let your answers be your guide

What do you want from...

  • your college experience?
  • your major?
  • your career?

Giving these questions serious thought will likely do several things:

  • make your college experience more rewarding
  • help you succeed as a student
  • guide your schedule for taking courses and graduating
  • help you choose extracurricular activities

Don't worry if you don't have immediate answers because these questions can be difficult. Learning more about career options can help you feel more confident in your choices. Our Careers page has several great starting places.

Learn about your options so you can invest your time and energy wisely

Even though people tend to have several careers in a lifetime, you could be in a career for decades. Don't you think that it's smart to spend some time learning about your options? Sift through salary data and other statistics and match your personality to job descriptions.

Setting your sights on your ultimate goal and seeing how your degree will help get you there is a good way to motivate yourself to get as much as possible from the courses you take. It will also help you manage your time, choose your classes, and prioritize your extracurricular activities.

Developing clear educational and career goals early in your college experience can have important payoffs. It will give you more flexibility in your schedule, and, if you have a rocky start grade-wise, you'll have more semesters to earn high grades to offset the low ones.

Gain job skills that employers need

To help you land the career you want, it's a good idea to prepare yourself to meet the needs of prospective employers. Click here for a list of traits and skills that prospective employers say that they want new hires to possess (in a new window).

Take actions that will best ensure your personal and career development.

If, as you take undergraduate courses, you wonder how they will help you “on the job”, take a skills orientation. Think of your classes as learning experiences that refine a variety of specific skills, not just as ways to learn about particular subjects.

With a bit of reflection, you’ll see that through your courses, work experience, and hobbies, you’ve gained skills that employers may value. Ready yourself for job interviews by thinking about how your education has prepared you for a specific job. Thinking about it beforehand will pay off.


This page's content is adapted from the following sources: