Researching Career Options
Career Services provides resources for exploring the many career options in the world of work.
A small library in our office houses more than 650 print publications, with a list of publications available online.
Get ideas for possible career options from the pursuits of previous Southwestern graduates. Look at information about job titles/employers and graduate programs for each year’s graduates, gathered through the annual Post-Graduate Survey.
You probably know that there is not a direct connection between your particular course of study and a specific occupation, unless you major in accounting or education - the only two professional-preparation majors at Southwestern. For those fields, you actually take tests at the end of your studies to achieve certification that makes you eligible for a specific job.
For all other majors, you have the freedom to craft your own career path, and out-of-class activities like volunteerism, leadership, internships and research/creative works help you develop and “prove” the skills necessary to be marketable for employment upon graduation.
While there is not a one-to-one correlation between liberal arts major and job, having an interest in a certain group of courses may mean you would also have an interest in certain types of work. To that end, we have created a group of handouts called “Major Possibilities” to help you explore the many options. Be sure to look at multiple majors that look interesting, since there is a lot of overlap among the occupations described on each handout. Majors are organized by academic division. Hard copies may be picked up in person at Career Services.
- Classics, Greek and Latin
- Communication Studies
- Modern Languages (Chinese, German, French, Spanish)
There are thousands of websites that offer information about particular occupations. Some specific sites that may help you explore are:
America’s Career InfoNet - A parternship between federal and state agencies, this organization offers information on the process of career exploration as well as occupational outlooks and trends and numerous other tools.
GlassDoor.com - Glassdoor is a free jobs and career community that offers the world an inside look at jobs and companies. What sets us apart is our “employee generated content” – anonymous salaries, company reviews, interview questions, and more – all posted by employees, job seekers, and sometimes the companies themselves. Now with nearly 3 million salaries and reviews, you have all the information you might need to make your next career decision.
What’s Involved in Career Choice? - Article from Florida State University explaining the career decision-making process.
How to Research Companies on LinkedIn - Did you know you can search for companies as well as individuals on LinkedIn? Some helpful suggestions here.
Research the Company before the Job Interview - From the Wall Street Journal
BrainTrack’s US Colleges and Career Guide - In-depth US college and career profiles as well as degree and wage statistics for over 300 occupations that commonly require college or university education.
JobShadow.com - Read real interviews from people as they talk about the jobs they do and the careers they have to explore career options.
LexisNexis - This academic research database includes a component for conducting company research, as well as a news search.
LinkedIn.com - This fast-growing site features thousands of company profiles. Also, looking at individuals’ profiles can help you identify common career paths in particular industries.
O*NET - The Occupational Information Network makes occupational information interactive and accessible for all. Research occupations using keywords or search for occupations that match your skills.
Occupational Outlook Handbook - The US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes this document annually. Browse by alphabetical order or occupational cluster for abundant information on different occupations, including projected growth/decline, salaries, qualifications and descriptions.
The Riley Guide’s Research and Target Employers and Locations - A comprehensive collection of links to help you research employers and occupations to explore career options and prepare for a job search