Exploring Majors and Careers

Learn about majors at the University of Minnesota and how they connect with career paths.

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Resources for all students

Career Services at the U is decentralized so that we can be student centered. This means many of our career resources are available through your college. Additionally, we have some centralized resources available across colleges:

  • Center for Academic Planning and Exploration (CAPE)
    • Major profiles with degree requirements, potential careers, and more
    • Major Network for connecting with upper level students to find out what a major is really like
    • 1:1 coaching with peer advisors and CAPE coaches
    • 1 credit course (OUE 2001) - helps students strongly undecided develop an exploratory action plan
  • Pre-Law Advising
    • Are you interested in the possibility of attending law school after you complete your undergraduate degree here at the University of Minnesota? Maybe your mind is already made up; law school is definitely in your future. Then again, maybe you don’t exactly understand what law school is all about, what it can prepare you for in terms of a future career, or whether you should actually go ahead and pursue the law school option…or not. Either way - you're not alone! Pre-Law Advising is here to help you explore, prepare for, and apply to law school.
  • Pre-Health Student Resource Center
    • The Pre-Health Student Resource Center is here to help you prepare for a health professional program, wherever you might be in the process. They support you all along your journey to a health career - from exploring health career options, developing an authentic and competitive portfolio of experiences, and preparing your application to a health professional program.
  • Maroon and Gold Network
    • Use this social network from the Alumni Association to find alumni in your field(s) of interest. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask questions!

You'll find these resources through your college

  • 1:1 appointments with counselors and coaches
  • Personality and interest assessments
  • Guidance on discovering your values, interests, personality, strengths, and skills
  • Major exploration courses
  • Career planning courses
  • Connections to alumni to ask what different fields are like
  • Help pursuing internships, volunteer opportunities, and part-time jobs to test out your fields of interest

Online tools for researching careers

  • "What Can I Do with This Major?"
    • Typical career areas and types of employers that hire people with each major
    • Strategies to make you a more marketable candidate
    • Continue your research through the websites provided
  • O*Net
    • Daily tasks involved in the career
    • Knowledge and skills needed
    • Average salaries
    • Projected growth of the field
  • CareerOneStop (Department of Labor)
    • Salaries
    • Employment trends
    • Skills needed and more
  • Glassdoor
    • Company reviews
    • CEO approval ratings
    • Salary reports
    • Interview reviews and questions
    • Office photos and more
  • CandidCareers video library
    • Visit the "Explore Careers" section for interviews with alumni in a variety of industries and positions

Where do I start?

Assess yourself and explore options

What do you enjoy? What sparks your curiosity and brings you energy? What needs would you like your career meet? What feedback is your community (friends, family) giving you? Spend intentional time considering these kinds of questions. Browse course offerings and try different classes. Talk to a career counselor about personality and interest assessments.  

Recommended Resources 
Major Profiles Degree requirements, potential careers, learning abroad opportunities. (CAPE)
Major NetworkConnects exploring students with upperclassmen. (CAPE)
1-Credit CourseOUE 2001 Academic Planning and Exploration
Major Exploration CoursesAsk your college career office

Narrow your choices and do some research

Ask your college about career planning courses. Intern, volunteer, job shadow, or find a part-time job in a field of interest. Explore occupational research sites that tell you what a career might be like.

Recommended Resources 
"What Can I Do with This Major?"Common career paths by major
O*NetOccupational data
CareerOneStopCareer information by the Dept of Labor
GlassdoorSalary information

Get industry specific advice

Join industry specific student organizations that host speakers, networking events, and give you an opportunity to learn from other students and alumni. Find alumni in your field of interest and ask them what it's like (see more on Networking). Think about who you already know and reach out: family, friends, neighbors, professors, past teachers, coaches, advisors, career counselors, current/past supervisors.

Recommended Resources 
GopherLinkFind and join student organizations.
Maroon and Gold NetworkConnections and advice with alumni.
Handshake communityJoin conversations with other users.
Pre-Health Student Resource CenterPre-health advising for all UMN students.
Pre-Law AdvisingOpen to all UMN students and alumni.