Career Services and Internships / Students

Majors and Careers

 

Career Services and Internships can help you!

College is all about choices. Choosing your academic path and college major is one step in the career planning process.

The career planning process begins in your freshman year as you start to better understand your personal needs and attributes and to explore academic and career options. It continues throughout your academic program with the goal of finding a professional job that is right for you or acceptance into graduate school.

Choosing a Major

Answer the question: What can I do with this major?

Career Services and Internships can assist you in determining the best major or career to suit your interests, values and abilities. Understanding personal interests, values and abilities through self-assessment is the first step to finding a “good fit.” The second step is to explore and research careers you are interested in.

Important points to remember when choosing your major:

  • Choose something you enjoy
  • Explore your options before deciding
  • Gain experience outside of your major through other classes and departments, activities, and internships
  • Most occupations and jobs are open to a wide variety of majors

Following is a wide choice of resources that are geared to helping you discover your academic path and college major.

Self-Assessment

The first step in the process of choosing a major is self-assessment. Career Services & Internships offers self-assessments to help students identify areas of strength and interest. Before you can decide what you want to do, it helps to have a more comprehensive understanding of who you are – your interests, abilities and values. Contact Mike Hagarty at 507-457-6695 or mhagarty@smumn.edu to schedule an appointment to talk about whether a career assessment is right for you.

Exploring Careers

Exploring careers and choosing a major is a very individual process. To help you in this process, here is a checklist of activities to consider and participate in. Some may be more applicable than others, but all can help you clarify your options and make the right choice.

  • Learn about yourself, your interests and abilities by using self-assessment tools.
  • Review Saint Mary’s course catalog. The catalog shows which majors are offered at Saint Mary’s.
  • Register for the one-credit course Career Exploration (PD101) offered the second eight weeks of each semester.
  • Research occupations that interest you and learn of new occupations to consider. Use the resource library in Career Services and/or the school library. The Career Services web site links to other sites with career information.
  • Talk to faculty about specific majors.
  • Talk to students in majors that interest you.
  • Take classes that spark your interest.
  • Interview and/or job shadow professionals working in the occupation(s) you are considering. Learn what the professionals majored in, if they went to college, and what advice they could offer you in terms of courses to take and skills to develop.
  • Participate in a field exploration experience or internship.

Research… industries, employers and salaries

Check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It contains information on a variety of careers, including salary averages, market outlook and descriptions.

Salary Information

PayScale – Salary Calculator – Quickly calculate a salary range for any position or job.

PayScale – Cost of Living Calculator Cost of living information for comparing any two cities. Includes how much you need to make in the new location to maintain your current standard of living.

PayScale – Career Path Predictor Predict where your career path is going and see what path others have taken.

NACE Salary Calculator Center Salary.com Salary calculator by city

Salary Expert • International Salary Calculator Select your job title and location, then click the Search button to receive a sophisticated salary report. Benefits, bonuses and the cost of living will be factored into your salary analysis.

The Gross-Up Calculator Have a target net salary amount in mind? Enter your target salary and select the state you’ll be working in to find out how much you’ll need to make.

Occupational Outlook Handbook Earnings statistics and summary statements on all occupations listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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