Explore Career Paths
Recognizing your personal qualities and interests is the first step in discovering a major and career that is a good fit. Career advisors provide exploration strategies in Choosing a Major, Charting a Career (presentation), and recommend next steps depending on where you are in choosing a major in our Major and Career Exploration (handout). The resources below can advance your exploration.
- Start with self-assessment.
- Continue by exploring careers and industries that interest you.
- Have career conversations with professionals to learn what it's like on the job.
- Then, create your professional brand and development action plan.
- If your career requires an advanced degree, consider applying for grad school.
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:
- Focus 2 Career Planning Foundations (instructional video)
- Focus 2 Self Assessments (instructional video)
- Focus 2 Explore the Possibilities (instructional video)
- Focus 2 Action Plan Portfolio (instructional video)
Additional career services videos include:
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.
- What Can I Do With This Major? lists general academic majors and the areas in which you can pursue a career.
- Employers by Major lists employers in California by the majors they hire.
- Vault Guides to Jobs offers eBooks on careers by industry. The Vault channel provides videos that support the guides.
- Job Future Caster shows what the future prospects for a job will be like and the education path that you’ll need to pursue.
- Explore Graduate Earnings Data shows the salary and employment data of Cal State LA alumni by major. Select Los Angeles.
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.
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.
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.
- Six Ways You Can Get Started on Your Career Development Journey (video)
- 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. Look for these events on Handshake.