Psi Chi Honor Society
Department of Psychological
& Brain Sciences:
Career Development: An Overview & Student Roadmap
Why are you in college? Because you want a great career someday - right?
If, on graduation day, you want a diploma in one hand and a job offer or graduate school acceptance letter in the other hand, you'll need to focus time and energy on career development activities throughout your 4 years in college.
What if you aren't sure of your career goal? Psychology and neuroscience majors have hundreds of career options. Our majors go on to careers in psychology, business, universities, social services, law, medicine & allied health, education and beyond.
Whether you are confident of your career goal or haven't yet seriously begun to explore careers, the career development process for most college students includes similar tasks:
Network: Consistently talk with people about your career interests, experiences, and goals. Ask them about their career and their experiences. Network with professionals in careers of interest to you, academic advisors, career counselors, professors, students, friends and family. Learn more.
Self-Assessment: Career research is often limited to information about specific occupations, degrees and licenses. This is important information to gather, but it's useless without first researching the most critical part of job satisfaction: yourself. What are your interests, skills, personality, and values? Learn more.
Career Exploration: Begin exploring careers using books, websites, and resources of campus career services such as the Career Development Center and the Health Professions & Prelaw Center. Attend career development events on campus. Conduct informational interviews & job shadow professionals. Learn more.
Co-curricular Activities: Participate in student groups to develop transferable skills desired in any profession such as communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and developing goals and achieving them. Take on leadership roles. Attend club events that are relevant to careers of interest to you. Consider other co-curricular activities such as research assistantships, professional organizations and overseas studies. Learn more.
Career Education: Enroll in P199 or P299 during your sophomore year! First years may want to consider ASCS-Q294. Juniors and seniors may benefit from Career Development Center courses ASCS-Q299 or Q275 or Q377. If you are working toward a minor or certificate in business, consider X220 or X420. Learn more.
Internship Experiences: Employers and graduate schools prefer applicants who have career-relevant experience over those who do not. Over 80% of college students will have completed two internships before they graduate. In a good internship experience, you'll network with professionals, get to observe them in action, and receive instruction and supervision as you perform some of the tasks that are part of that career. Learn more.
While the career development process is easily enough described on this page, it isn't easy for students to do. Connect with career services - academic advisors, career counselors and others on campus who are here to help you.