career exploration strategies

All students, whether they have selected a major and defined a career goal or not, can benefit from career research. Career research can help you learn about factors such as daily job responsibilities, job growth for a specific career type, and average salary. Career research can happen quickly through online sources or at a deeper level through informational interviews, networking, or career events. Consider the methods below to complete your research. Which methods do you want to try?

AZCIS
A great way to explore careers is by logging onto the Arizona Career Information System (AzCIS):
User name: nau  Password: 2viewazcis
The Arizona Career Information System showcases many occupations and provides valuable information on wages, duties, degree requirements and job outlook.
O*Net Online

O*NET provides excellent information on jobs and describes the tasks performed, education required, wages and employment outlook and a listing of knowledge, skills and abilities needed to do the work.

To identify career paths tailored to your interests, take a short and easy interest inventory at My Next Move. To access the assessment from that webpage, click the magenta box on the far right that says "I'm not sure." 

Occupational Outlook Handbook
The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a guide to help you find information on job responsibilities, work environment, required education and skills, salary and outlook and related occupations that match your interests.
Jobs for Jacks
NAU’s internal job search engine, Jobs for Jacks, lists thousands of opportunities throughout the year. This resource gives you a snapshot of real jobs and internships available to students and new college grads so you have a better idea of what employers want and the skills you’ll need to attain those types of positions.
Informational interviewing
Conduct an informational interview with someone working in your field of interest to gain insights into what he or she does. The information can help confirm that you will enjoy the career field or eliminate it from your list.  Before conducting an in-person, Skype, or phone informational interview, read about how these interviews can benefit you and strategies and success tips!
Career events
Job fairs and career events are a great way to find out more about jobs and what employers need in the future. Attend as many events as you can. Search the Career Events Calendar on the NAU Career Development website for the next event.
Internships
An internship, which you will learn more about in the next section, allows you to test drive a career before you commit to it full-time. That way, you can explore careers and organizations that interest you. Likewise, you are able to gain knowledge of the professional work world and develop a professional network. Jobs for Jacks lists hundreds of internships that you can explore, and you can also speak to your department’s internship coordinator to discuss opportunities.
Volunteer
All successful people give back to their communities. Not only will you feel good by volunteering and starting that pattern of success, but you can explore a career on your own terms. Volunteering gives you a chance to try out a career and learn more about an industry. Plus, it feels good!

Next: Next Steps

“But there’s more to luck than pure chance. High achievers often share similar attitudes, such as perseverance, self-belief, optimism, ambition, and frustration. How we perceive our circumstances and how we create and take opportunities largely depends on what we expect of ourselves.” ~Sir Ken Robinson

© 2011 Arizona Board of Regents for Arizona State University and Career Services.