Explore

Gain an understanding of your uniqueness by learning about your values, interests, personality, and skills. Explore potential major and career options. Gather specific information about occupations and industries.

  • Explore your values, interests, personality, and skills
  • Explore career options for your major
  • Research occupation/industry knowledge needed for success
  • Explore education/training requirements

steps

take a self-assessment

A career assessment is NOT going to be the final step in your career exploration but a starting point in guiding your journey, answering questions like 'What should I study?' or 'What career should I pursue?'

It is important to look at multiple factors when engaging in career assessment. The most common factors are personality, skills, interests and values. In the model to the right, the point at which these factors overlap is thought to  produce the greatest career satisfaction.

Take a Self-Assessment

attend career panels

A career panel is a unique opportunity to hear from multiple professionals and experts on various career topics or industries. Panelists typically speak about their experiences and offer valuable advice to those considering careers in their areas of expertise.

attend informational interviews

An informational interview is typically a one-on-one conversation with someone who works in a field of interest; the purpose is for you to gain information and insight into the career, employer, and industry.

Investigate all of the different settings where people work in the careers that interest you. For example, if you are considering nursing, examine positions in hospitals, doctor’s offices and clinics, community health centers, rehabilitation centers, schools and colleges, and research facilities. Or if you are studying physical education, look into community recreation or corporate wellness.

It is also desirable to obtain more than one perspective on the careers of interest to you. Interview individuals who hold these positions and their supervisors or department heads. (Keep in mind that it is often easier to start with the boss and then be “sent down” to the level where you might start.) Talk to people in more than one organization because jobs can differ greatly depending on the work environment of individual employers.

People employed in the jobs that you are interested in can provide great information on:

  • A realistic idea of their work day
  • Information on the types of organizations that hire in the field
  • Current ranges on starting salaries and future earnings
  • Information on advancement opportunities
  • The skills and credentials necessary to secure employment
  • The employment demand for people in their field
  • Advice on where to look for jobs in the field

Supervisors or department heads can provide additional information on:

  • An overview of the structure of the organization
  • Advice about other related jobs
  • Advice on getting started in the field and what they seek when hiring
  • Advice about career progressions
  • Referrals to other people in the field

Try to conduct your first interviews with people whom you know so that you can become polished at the process before you venture out into the unknown. At the end of an informational interview, always ask the interviewee for a referral to another person or two in the field from which you may obtain further information. In this way you will develop you own network of contacts.

do job shadowing in careers of interest

Job shadowing is an excellent way for students to follow, or “shadow,” a professional for a day or longer to get a close, first-hand look at what a day in the life of a particular position or career entails. This will help you determine whether or not a position or career path is a good fit for you.

tips

  • Before you arrive for your job shadow, research the organization and industry to prepare yourself for the day.
  • Observe a professional in action to learn about their day-to-day responsibilities.
  • Ask questions about their role, the organization, and the industry.
  • Tour the facilities and meet a variety of professionals within the organization.
  • Be sure to follow up the shadowing experience with a personal thank you email or note.

learn about graduate programs

Graduate education involves develping stronger relationships with faculty and becoming a contributing member of your chosen academic discipline. Students have various reasons for deciding to continue their education beyond the undergraduate degree. Some fields, such as higher education and research, require a graduate degree. In other cases students may wish to gain a deeper familiarity with their chosen field for reasons of academic curiosity or personal enrichment. 

Learn about Graduate School

research careers online

There are a number of resources that have been created to allow students and alumni to explore the variety of career paths available. These resources allow you to learn about the occupation, training and education needed, the work environment, and some salary information.

Online resources include: The Occupational Outlook Handbook, O*Net Online, Career One Stop, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Projections. In addition, check out College Foundation of North Carolina as a way to match your assessment results to potential career targets.

Additionally, research careers outside of the Unitied States by using GoinGlobal.

What Can I do with a Major In...?

GoinGlobal

Vault

attend an employer information session

Employer information sessions are a great way for students and alumni to learn more about an organization in an interactive setting. Information sessions typically consist of a company presentation detailing the values and mission of the company, recent projects, company culture and their hiring process followed by a Q&A and an opportunity for students and alumni to network with recruiters.

go on a career trek

Career Treks are one-day opportunities exclusively for UNC Charlotte students to experience the culture at different companies and organizations in the Charlotte area and beyond. Career Treks typically consist of a tour, an overview of the company/organization, and an opportunity to network.

Career Treks

volunteer somewhere of interest

Realize your potential to impact the environment and community through the power of social action, responsible citizenship, and volunteerism.

Government, education, and nonprofit organizations interact with UNC Charlotte to provide students with opportunities to give back to their community in a variety of ways. Use this experience to learn about industries, topics of interest, and career directions. These opportunities also provide new skills, experiences, and knowledge that could be leveraged towards full-time work and graduate programs.

Volunteer Now

join student organizations

There are many benefits to joining a student organization: making new friends, developing new skills and abilities, working as part of a team, learning to set and achieve goals, sharing your time and talents, as well as having fun.

Explore Student Orgs