Career Planning

Take some time to think about what you see yourself doing. Is there a friend or relative who has a job that really excites you? What can you compromise on? Location? Salary? Work hours? Benefits? What can't you compromise on? The below tools and guides will help you in identifying your interests and a possible career.

What Can I Do With This Major?
This is simply a start to give you some ideas. Your degree does not necessarily limit you to specific careers. What is more important is the development of skill sets. How do you do this? Two options are to acquire a part-time job or an internship. You also need to be able to translate what you have learned in college into well-written resumes and cover letters.

Internships

Internships allow you to test out possible career choices. What better way to see if you will like a job then to actually work at it, or in a related job?

Internships are not just for upperclassmen. You can get an internships at any point in your college career. Have an idea for a possible career during your freshman year? See if you can set up an internship over the summer, or maybe even outside of class during the semester.

Not all internships are paid. Make sure you pay attention to whether or not the internships are paid when applying for a position.

Internships in Montana:
https://www.looksharp.com/c/montana
http://www.coolworks.com/montana-jobs/
http://fwp.mt.gov/doingBusiness/employment/internships.html

Occupational Outlook Handbook
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/

This database is put out by the United States Department of Labor. It contains information on hundreds of careers. You can use this database to find out the projected job growth in an area, the education level required for specific jobs, salary ranges, and a description of what you would do at a given job.

Skills Assessment/Personality Profiling:

  • MCIS - Montana Career Information System is an online site offering free information concerning occupations and employment, as well as education and training. MCIS also offers a free assessment of what careers might be best for you based on your interests.  For all UM Western Students, please use the following to log on for free: User Name: wmtcol, Password: plan7ing
  • SII - Strong Interest Inventory. Another tool to identify your interests and aid in picking a career.

Cover Letters and Resumes

Cover letters and resumes give any future employer a first impression of who you are. Making sure these documents are professional, effective, and efficient will help set you apart from other candidates. Do not be fooled by the short length of these documents. They are vitally important and making a great cover letter and resume takes a substantial amount of time. Want help putting these documents together? See the information on this webpage about Optimal Resume and drop by to see Brenden Kennedy in the Learning Center.