Major and Career Exploration
The Career and Professional Development Office is dedicated to providing resources to help students discover their career path. There is a lot to consider when exploring majors and careers — your personality, your interests and skills, what work environment will help you grow and thrive, and your goals and values. It's an exciting journey. If you need assistance with career exploration, make an appointment with a Career and Professional Development Specialist by calling 608.342.1183.
Where to start?
Research majors at UW-Platteville
UW-Platteville has more than 40 majors to choose from in three colleges on campus: Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture (BILSA); Engineering, Mathematics and Science (EMS); and Liberal Arts and Education (LAE). When exploring potential majors, look at the curriculum not only for the first semester but also subsequent semesters. This will help you gain an understanding of what you will study during the duration of your undergraduate career.
As you begin your major and career search, keep in mind that a major is the here and now and a career is a life-long endeavor. In today's world of work, people often hold many different occupations over the span of their professional careers. For some occupations, you will need a specific major with specific technical skill. For other occupations, employers consider a wide array of majors with a broader skill set, such as excellent writing and analytical skills, effective interpersonal communication skills, and the ability to problem-solve and think strategically.
what can you do with a major In...
There are many great resources for you to explore what occupations you can pursue with a specific major. Often students are surprised, for example, History majors work in city planning or business. Check out What Can I Do With This Major? to connect majors to careers. You should also explore resources that give up-to-date information about expected growth in the field, salary and work environment, such as the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) and the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Your future is important so take the time to research career fields and occupations — informed decisions and experience will lead to a greater level of career confidence and satisfaction.
Self-assessments are a great interactive tool for exploring students. They can help you identify skills, interests and abilities. Self-assessments will not necessarily tell you what major or career to choose, but they will suggest majors and occupations that may be a good match for you. If you feel an assessment would help you in your major and career exploration search, use Focus 2, a career and education planning tool available for FREE to UW-Platteville students. Prospective students interested in exploring majors and careers can take My Next Move for FREE. If you need help understanding your Focus 2 results, a peer educator is available on a walk-in basis from 3-4 p.m. Monday-Friday at 0200 Ullsvik Hall. You also can make an appointment with a Career and Professional Development Specialist at the CPDO by calling 608.342.1183.
If you have an interest in a subject area, take an introductory class! It's the best way to find out if you have a genuine interest in it. Often introductory courses will fulfill general education courses. If not, taking a course for major exploration is terrific use of an elective.
clubs and organization
UW-Platteville has over 200 student organizations. Finding a related academic club is a great way to meet other students with similar interests and explore a field. Student organizations often have excellent leadership opportunities as well. Check out the UW-Platteville Organizations Directory.
Informational Interviewing/Job shadowing
Visit or shadow professionals in your field of interest. Through informational interviewing, you will be able to ask working professionals questions about what they do on a daily basis, opportunities for growth in the field and ways to become a strong candidate for first-time jobs. Through job shadowing, you will get to see the rewards and challenges of an occupation first hand. For more information, see our job shadowing page.
Check out Pioneer Career Network (PCN) to see if there is an internship opportunity in your field of interest. Internships provide valuable hands-on experience. Internships also help build a strong resume portfolio.
Volunteering allows you to give back to the community, develop skills, network and explore fields of interest.
relevant part-time work experience
Through relevant part-time work experience, you are able to earn money and explore a potential career. For example, if you were considering becoming a lawyer, working part-time in a law office answering phones can provide insight into the profession and help you establish valuable connections.