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Center for Career Services

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Choosing Majors and Careers

A major is a particular subject at a college or university. Career Planning is a structured exercise undertaken to identify one's objectives, marketable skills, strengths, and weaknesses, etc., as a part of one's career management.

Four Stages to Career Success

Consider enrolling in Career Planning & Decision Making (CRDV105N - 1 credit) to accomplish Stages 1 and 2 in a course environment. Consider enrolling in Employment Practicum (CRDV100N - 1 credit) to accomplish the Stage 3 in a course environment. Both courses are offered through the Academic Learning Center.

  • Use the Focus 2 assessment (a self-paced, online career and education planning tool for college students and alumni). The access code needed to set up an account on Focus 2 is MaristRedFoxes. A Marist email address must be used to establish an account.
  • View sources of information about college majors such as the Focus 2 results, Marist College Programs Catalog or Majors/Minors Booklet, both of which can be found through your MyMarist account.
  • Discuss your career profile with a career coach, academic advisor and others you trust to review it and generate additional options.
  • Identify a "short list" of majors and career options for further exploration.
  • Attend career events on campus such as the Majors and Minors Fair (fall semester only), Career and Internship Fair (fall and spring), and other career related workshops and presentations.
  • If you are undeclared, take introductory classes in the majors you are considering and speak with faculty in those departments to get more information about the major.
  • If you have a declared major, review minors and certification programs at Marist to see if any would be compatible with your interests and the career options you are considering.
  • Discuss the majors and careers on your "short list" with a career coach, academic advisor, or faculty member.
  • Gather more data on majors and, if you haven't yet, take introductory classes in those fields.
  • Intensify your career research by gathering more details and information from a variety of sources. Find out the typical duties and responsibilities, training and education, working conditions, typical salaries, job outlook and professional associations.
  • Shadow career professionals in the fields you are considering.
  • Become more familiar with internships by reviewing opportunities in FoxQuest and speaking to your department's internship faculty coordinator.
  • If the career options you are exploring require graduate study, schedule an appointment with Graduate School and Fellowship Advisor Pat Taylor.
  • Critically analyze your major and career choices based on the information you have gathered.
  • Declare your major by the end of your sophomore year.
  • Join a campus club or organization related to your career choices. If you are already in a club or organization then try out a leadership position.
  • Consider joining a professional association as a student member.
  • Find a part-time or summer job that is related to the career options you are considering.
  • Think about adding to your skills and knowledge by volunteering your time in an organization that offers the types of career options you are considering.
  • Discuss with a professor the possibility of using a course paper topic or project to explore your career options. Another option is to do an independent study on an issue of relevance to your first choice career option.
  • Use the Marist Alumni Career Network and LinkedIn to network and gather information from alumni who had the majors you are considering or are currently working in the career options you are exploring.
  • Make an appointment with a career coach for job search assistance.
  • Talk with a career coach about your self-marketing plan or contact alumni in your field who could assist you in their organizations.
  • Review the Center for Career Services Resources to get your job search tools together; craft your resume, cover letter, personal brand/pitch, references, and LinkedIn profile review.
  • Practice your interviewing skills by setting up a mock interview or using software such as InterviewStream.
  • Purchase a business suit to wear to interviews and a portfolio to carry resumes.
  • Research employers in your field and prepare a target list. Submit your resume to job opportunities.
  • Attend on- and off-campus career events such as Road to the Workplace to network with employers.
  • Participate in on- and off-campus interviews and attend career fairs. Remember to follow up. 

Apply to Graduate School

  • Talk with your academic advisor or another faculty member in your field.
  • Make an appointment Graduate School & Fellowship Advisor Pat Taylor.
  • Register for the appropriate entrance examination. Consider enrolling in a prep course or use study guides on campus to prepare for entrance exams.
  • Prepare an appropriate resume and personal statement to include with your application.
  • Obtain letters of recommendation from your former professors and/or internship or job supervisors.
  • Obtain and fill out graduate school, assistantship/fellowship and financial aid applications.