Explore Career Paths
If you are choosing a major or exploring what you can do with your major, we can help. The steps below guide you in better understanding your professional self, which opportunities align with your strengths and potential contributions and the steps to take while in college to help you launch your career.
Step One: Self-Assessments
Knowing more about your strengths and abilities can help you identify career paths that will align with your best self. Formal career assessments can enhance your awareness of your work interests, work values, work and career readiness skills, personality, leisure interests and career planning readiness.
Focus 2 Career is an online, self-guided, assessment service that provides valid and reliable assessments including the Holland code (work interest) & and MBTI types (personality). Each assessment takes about 5 to 10 minutes to complete. You can combine your assessment results and explore career options and academic majors that align with you. Career options provided are limited to the approximately 867 detailed occupations defined by the Standard Occupational Classification system.
Create your free student account using the access code: EAGLESLA
Additional Self-assessment Support
Career advisors guide you through the sections of Focus 2 Career in these instructional videos:
Step Two: Career Exploration
Knowing more about what is possible can help you determine career paths of interest and strategies to achieve them. With a better understanding of the working world, you can more easily envision how you can best fit into that world. Career advisors provide these resources to help you with this exploration.
Explore Career Paths
What Can I Do With This Major? helps students see common career areas they can enter with the major, typical employers that hire in this field and strategies to maximize career opportunities. The majors listed are general academic majors named by CIP code designation.
Vault Guide to Jobs includes industry guides, ranking guides and guides to key careers and industries.
Employers by Major lists employers in California who have hired grads within the major.
Explore Salary Potential
Step Three: Career Conversations
One of the best ways to begin exploring career paths is to have a conversation with professionals in a field you're interested in. You can learn more about a career and how to get there, ask about their work, major and career pathway and the skills required in the position. Career advisors provide these online resources to help you get started.
- Cal State LA Alumni Mentoring Program (website) connects you with alumni who would like to have career conversations.
- Informational Interview (handout) provides a list of questions you can ask a professional in a career conversation.
- Roadtrip Nation Documentaries (website) show how people like you found work that they love.
Step Four: Your Professional Brand
Once you've identified your professional qualities and career paths that align, you're ready to start building your professional brand. Think of your professional brand as a way to activate your personal mission statement. Meaning, a way to bring your personal mission statement to “life” and in a way that combines your personal and professional self. Career advisors provide these resources to help you get started.
- Building a Professional Brand: Your Professional Journey at Cal State LA (presentation)
- Develop Your Professional Brand (handout) - use this guide to create your professional brand statement.
- Professional Brand Rubric (handout) - use this to evaluate how you can improve your brand statement.
Step Five: Your Professional Development Plan
Think of your career/professional development plan as a way to cultivate your professional brand. Meaning, an intentional plan to grow your professional brand so that you can gain the experiences and skills you need to lead your best life. Career advisors provide these resources to help you get started.
- The Career Development Journey (video and website)
- Choose Your Own Career Adventure Checklist (handout)
- Timelines for the College Professional Development Plan (presentation)
- Professional Development Plan Template (handout)
- Applying to Grad School (website)
Career advisors and coordinators can help with self and career exploration, career planning, internships, career networking, résumé and interview skills, and employment searches. We offer group and individual appointments.
Part of choosing a career path includes knowing about workplace culture and available opportunities for your degree. Employers host events where you can meet and learn more about what's possible.