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Finding a career path

Every major has employable value. We can show you where most graduates in a major end up employed, but college will teach you critical thinking and you can often enter into employment opportunities because employers will value your mind and attitude.

What do you want to do when you leave college? What kinds of opportunities are “out there?” What can I do with different majors? 

These are the big career planning questions and they might take a while to answer – college is a great place to figure out what’s next! 

Two things really help:

  1. look at career planning and decision-making as a lifelong process rather than a one-time decision, and
  2. start early (now!) – if you wait until graduation, you will miss out on all sorts of opportunities.

What major should I choose?

Choosing a major can feel like a major decision. It doesn’t have to be. Many people expect their career path to be a simple straight path from point A to point B. The reality is that most people find their path through trying new things, meeting new people, and getting exposed to experiences that they previously had not known about. Your next employer will put the most emphasis on your experiences that you bring to them.

Let’s hear what our Alumni have to say about picking a major:

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Assess yourself to find career prospects

Explore interest, skills, and work values assessments to better understand different occupations that may be a fit for you. Career One Stop allows users to learn and plan for their career.

What are employers looking for in their next employee?

Career Readiness: Get ready for what's next!

The main elements of Career Readiness at Metro State are the Career Competencies and  Career Steps. The Career Center wants you to use your time in college as a launch pad for your career transition. Rather than wait until graduation, start right away, and as you progress in your education and Career Readiness work, you will achieve both goals of graduation and better work.

Career Competencies

What Employers Want: Career Competencies – 10 bundles of skills, personal qualities, and strengths you want to develop and have at the ready.

This list of 10 career competencies can be thought of as a skill set that, in theory, you should be able to put on a résumé or talk about in an interview by the time you graduate. The idea is that, as you work toward your degree, you can gain clarity and confidence to be able to describe how specific classes — as well as internships and other college experiences — helped develop a palette of skills, personal qualities, and strengths. 

Professional Communication

The ability to articulate thoughts and ideas clearly with people both inside and outside the organization. Strong communicators are proficient in interpersonal conversations, public speaking, and writing effectively. They are also great listeners which we think is at least as important as verbal abilities.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

This interlinked set of competencies involves analyzing issues, making decisions, and overcoming problems. Since there are usually multiple valid points of view, interpretations, and/or solutions; there is room for originality and inventiveness here. People good at thinking critically and solving problems know how to obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts, and data to reach a goal or outcome. They then use their communication skills to clearly and concretely explain their contributions to others.

Ethical Decision Making

Often, conforming to a high standard of conduct is not about clear-cut right and wrong decisions. Acting ethically is always the right thing to do, but it’s not always easy to determine and then explain what that “right thing” is. Growing your ability to collect and evaluate information, develop alternatives, and foresee potential consequences will be a career-long progression. Some key skill sets for ethical decision making are: assessing the moral implications of a course of action; generating and sustaining trust; demonstrating respect and responsibility; valuing fairness and caring; and being consistent with the requirements of good citizenship.

Innovation and Creativity

Cultivate the practice of looking at the world differently, generating new ideas, and making connections between things that seem to be unrelated. This competency engages your originality and requires energy to take a leap, try new things, and go beyond conventional approaches.

Leadership and Followership

In organizations, most everybody is both a leader and follower depending upon the circumstances. Leadership is the ability to leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals. A good leader guides and motivates; they often serve to organize, prioritize, and delegate work. Followership is the ability to take direction well; to be part of a team and to deliver on what is expected. Good followers are diligent, motivated, and pay attention to detail.

Teamwork and Collaboration

The cultivation of positive, collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers and an understanding of their perspectives, insights, and diverse viewpoints. This competency requires a person to consider the needs, abilities, and goals of each group member. The individual is able to work easily within a team structure, and can negotiate and manage conflict civilly.

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Cultural Agility, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism

Human beings are a complex species, and no one person will ever have complete mastery of the myriad dimensions of cultural competence. Yet, curiosity about the worth, dignity, and potential of everyone by honoring diversity and promoting social justice is critical to being equipped for the 21st century. Creating an inclusive environment involves not only respecting multiple worldviews, but also challenging individual biases, and participating in what may be difficult dialogues. Working toward anti-racism means grasping the subtle role of race in our personal and professional everyday life. Effective community and institutional change can only happen when those who serve as agents of transformation understand the foundations of race and racism.

Community Engagement

Actively build an awareness of how communities impact individuals, and in turn, how individuals then impact, serve, and shape communities. Professionally, your Community Engagement involves creating or participating in partnerships and coalitions to help serve as catalysts for identifying and addressing issues affecting well-being, and to influence change in policies, programs, and practices for the good of all.

Digital Literacy

The effective use of existing technologies to solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. Someone who demonstrates this competency is willing to learn to utilize new tools, adapt, and keep up with emerging technologies.

Continuous Learning and Career Management

Actively engage in an ongoing process of exploring opportunities, gaining experience, and building skills. Being effective at career management will help you know and be ready to articulate how personal strengths and qualities, combined with and shaped by their liberal arts education, lead to career success. A curiosity about the world of work and a willingness to invest in networking connections, will lead to growing confidence and a meaningful, resilient career.

How do you explore and research careers?

If you’re curious about a career or an employer, you may want to set up an informational interview. Informational interviews aren’t job interviews, they’re conversations where you ask questions to learn about different fields and develop your knowledge and network.

Career Center can help you find potential informational interview subjects—and can help you prepare interview questions you can ask to make the most of your time. Talk to us about informational interviews or learn more in our video:

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Career Planning and Development: PSYC 107

This course is designed to help students plan their careers and develop lifelong learning strategies. Participants assess their interests, skills and aspirations in relation to the world of work. Topics include needs assessment, methods of achievement and analysis, goal planning, occupational field research, skills identification and strategy development. Students develop career plans balancing their personal aspirations with reality.

Reimagining Your Career: METR 310

This course is for students who are seeking structure for a process in defining next steps in pursuing their career interests. Students will draw from career development theory and strategies and apply them to their job search and life-long career management, with special emphasis on the verbal elements of an effective search process: introducing yourself, networking conversations, and handling interview questions. Students will also develop self-marketing tools including a strong resume, cover letters, and references. A community partner (corporation, nonprofit, or government agency) will serve as a workplace culture "case study," offering insights on their organizational culture, hiring practices, site tour, and mock interview coaching and feedback.