Program 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 future 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.
UW-Platteville has more than 40 majors to choose from in three colleges on campus. 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.
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.
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.
There are many great resources for you to explore what occupations you can pursue with a specific major. You should 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, because informed decisions and experience will lead to a greater level of career confidence and satisfaction.
Self-assessments are a great interactive tool for exploring career paths. 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, schedule an appointment with one of our Career and Professional Development Specialists through Handshake.
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.
Informational Interviewing and Job Shadowing
Through informational interviewing, you will be able to ask working professionals questions about what they do on a daily basis, and learn about opportunities for growth in the field and ways to become a strong job candidate. Through job shadowing, you will get to see the rewards and challenges of an occupation firsthand.
Check out Handshake 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 offers a great way to explore potential careers as well. By volunteering, you can develop new skills, network, and learn more about fields of interest while giving back to the community.
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 could provide insight into the profession and help you establish valuable connections. Check out Handshake to find part-time employment opportunities.
The following is a list of websites that are suggested resources for you to utilize.