When students think about careers, they are often envisioning the full-time work they will do well after they finish their degree. But career and professional development are about far more than any single job you might be picturing down the line. You build your skills, knowledge, and professional identity each semester, and department, college, and university resources are available every step of the way. Seizing a variety of professional development opportunities while at UMass Amherst will enable you to have choices and confidence as you design your career path.
During college, you will grow to see the world of work and yourself in new ways. Successful students start career exploration early, learn about employers and career fields, and build their collection of talents through intentional activities inside and outside the classroom. For most successful professionals, there are stories of new frontiers, important mentors, numerous building blocks, and hard work that paved the way to a satisfying career.
If I don’t know what I want to do for a career, how do I get started?
Many students enter college without a definitive career goal. Now is the time to learn about your options, your interests, and the choices professionals make along the way. Use this outline of steps, no matter how far along you are in your college career.
How do I find assistance or a career advisor as I plan my next steps?
UMass Amherst has both central career services and career advising for students in declared majors housed in your school or college. Find people you can meet with for advice.
I’m afraid if I don’t pick the right major, I won’t be able to find a job. What should I do?
Most careers don’t have a singular entry point. Professionals enter jobs or industries from a wide range of directions. However, there are some positions that require specific credentials or previous experience. Learning about career fields and employer expectations is a key way to use your time at UMass Amherst before you launch into full-time work or apply to graduate school. What careers are open to someone in my major?
What do employers want from a new graduate?
Employers want to know what courses you’ve taken, but they are often interested in much more than your major. They want to know if you can solve problems, communicate with a range of audiences, work in groups, manage change, interpret data, and roll up your sleeves to work with consistency toward a deadline.
Employers and alumni come to campus throughout the year, and it’s great to hear directly from them about why they are looking to hire UMass Amherst grads.