Image of career exploration books

In your journey of learning about careers, your path may loop you back through these steps, maybe many times. Go where your curiosity takes you, and be willing to step out of your comfort zone.

You are always welcome to seek our advising as you move through your journey.

  • Books in our Career Resource Center
    Many books about career options for many fields, interests and industries.
  • Candid Career Videos
    [CandidCareer.com]
    Career interviews or thousands of careers.
  • Career Profiles
    [CareerProfiles.com]
    Information about careers, and salaries by career field. Sources, by industry, for finding jobs.
  • Employment Projections
    [U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics]
    Extensive information collected and compiled by the federal government.
  • Career FYI informational interviews with people working in specfic careers
    [CareerFYI.com]
    Fashion, finance, high tech, human resources, insurance, legal, marketing, non-profit, project management, public service, real estate, retail, sales, software, television, travel, web/tech, and more.
  • Job Shadow.com
    [JobShadow.com]
    Explore career options by reading interviews with people in many occupations
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
    [U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics]
    Thorough online research guide for detailed information about specific occupations. Look up occupations, see nature of the work, job outlook, earnings, and more.
  • O*Net Find Occupations
    [U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration]
    Find and learn about occupations. View by career cluster, industry, outlook. Browse occupations by abilities, skills, interests, knowledge, values, more. Browse interests by Holland Codes [RIASEC]. Search occupations by skills, technology, and knowledge.
  • Riley Career Guide and Occupational Guides
    [RileyGuide.com]
    Extensive list of career exploration resources for many career fields.
  • Vault: Research industries and professions
    [Vault.com]
    Profiles of a wide variety of industries and professions.

The best decisions are made based on information from a variety of sources. Seek perspective from different people to enhance your research. People working in career fields can offer a reality check on things you read or assumptions you might have.

Advising at Virginia Tech

Networking

  • Networking
    Learn from contacts you have, and from new contacts you make.
    Conduct informational interviews.
  • Virginia Tech LinkedIn site to explore alumni by careers
    More about using LinkedIn.
  • Hokie Nation Network
    [Alumni Association]
    Professional and social networking for the VT community.
  • Job fairs and career fairs
    Note purpose and sponsor of each event. Some focus on certain career fields. Note that the employment world is not organized by major! Do your homework before going! Read each event website to see what employers are attending and the types of jobs they offer. Employers are impressed by students who show up prepared. Then go to learn more first-hand from employers about internships and entry-level career options.

You'll never know what a career field is like until you experience it where the rubber hits the road. There are many ways to test out your career interests in the real world through experience during college. Explore as many as you can. Internships are not the only way to get experience.

The vast majority of our Virginia Tech grads [over 90%] tell us they had career-related experience during college. Even so, over 30% tell us they wish they'd had more!

If you try something and realize you don't like it, that has value. You've learned that, and can move on. It's much better to find out during college that you don't really like a career field, as contrasted with learning that after graduation. Even if that happens, view this as a step in your growth and development. Your career path will span many years and may take many directions.

Keep in mind your path might take you to unexpected territory. That can be a great adventure and the best learning experience.