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.
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.
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