What will I choose to study for a college major? What will I do with that major after graduation? How can I be a wise steward of the time, money, and resources I am spending on my college education? These are big questions facing most college students. If you selected a career-specific major, such as Accounting, Nursing, Education, Computer Science, etc., the decision of what you are going to DO has mostly been made. Other majors like English or history, however, do not translate as directly into a specific career, so more exploration and preparation is required to determine your career path in order to wisely steward your college training and extracurricular experiences.
Explore Your Options
Begin exploring your options now so that you can
- Complement your required coursework with electives, extracurricular and volunteer service that will enhance your preparation and skill development for your desired field
- Secure related part-time/summer employment and internships to gain experience
- Establish short-term as well as long-term goals to help keep you on track
Determine Your Career Interests
The following steps can help you determine your career interests:
- Conduct an analysis of yourself—your values, interests and abilities in order to determine what you want, what you can do, where you would like to live and work, and what your options might be. Reflect on activities, jobs, and projects that you enjoy. Look for themes. Were you most satisfied in activities where you were working alone or with others? Do you prefer to use spoken or written communication skills? Look at possibilities for matching your interests with a job.
- Who Am I?
In a few minutes, could you clearly describe yourself to a stranger? Have you identified your interests, your values, your strengths/weaknesses, or your special talents?
- What Do I Want to Do?
The answer you give will indicate whether you have given serious thought to where you have been, where you are now, and where you hope to be in the future.
- Where Do I Want to Work?
This can mean several things—for a specific employer, for a specific type of employer, in a particular industry, and/or in a particular geographic location.
- Who Am I?
- Take interest inventories, skills and personality assessments. Each of these is online and free.
Review Potential Careers
- Review the academic section of www.bju.edu for info on potential careers for each major
- Meet with a career advisor in the Career Services office
- Research potential career fields and find out
- Conduct “information interviews” with professionals working in your field of interest to learn more about job responsibilities, required skills and knowledge, advice they could give someone desiring to enter their profession, etc.
- Network with people you already know, such as friends, relatives, other students, coworkers, supervisors, advisors and professors.
- Professional and trade organizations like Chambers of Commerce can be useful.
- Use LinkedIn to connect with BJU alumni who work in your desired career field.
- Seek part-time/summer employment that relates to your desired career field
Build Your Network
- Join professional organizations related to your desired career field
- Network with potential employers at career fairs and other functions
- Network with career professionals in settings like LinkedIn
- Join their professional groups
- Listen to the topics they discuss and read related articles referred to in their area of work
- Be active in BJU’s employment networking service, Career Central
- Search for employers
- Connect with their contact person
- Discuss possible career path options in their organization
- Visit their business location and tour their facilities to become better acquainted with their mission, culture, and employment opportunities
As you pursue God’s leading in your life and seek to steward the college-level training you are receiving, share your questions and your findings with advisors, parents, and friends. Prayerfully consider how you can best use your talents in a place of service that brings honor to God. Claim Proverbs 3:5-6 as you acknowledge Him in these endeavors, and He will direct your paths.