Parents/Prospective Students FAQs


When should my student visit the Career Center?

The Career Center assists students at all stages of development in their career journey, from helping with choosing a major to searching for their first full-time job.  Encourage your student to visit the Career Center early and often throughout their time at SJSU. Resources are available either in person or online.


What services does the Career Center provide to assist my student's career preparation?

  • SJSU Handshake - San José State University's online job database which currently has thousands of on-campus, work study, part-time, internship, and full-time job opportunities specifically seeking San José State University candidates.
  • Office hours where students can meet with a career professional on a drop-in basis to discuss topics that include choosing a major, resume critique, and job/internship search strategies.
  • Assessment inventories are tools that we use to assist students in clarifying students in their strengths and interests through an emphasis on self-understanding and career/major applications.
  • The Career Center also organizes many opportunities to meet a wide variety of employers through job fairs and employer information sessions.
  • Workshops and special events take place throughout the year and are targeted to specific areas of the job search process. For more information on specific job fairs and events, check the calendar section of our website.


How can I help my student choose a major?

Part of academic success for students is to find an area of study that motivates and engages them to be intellectually stimulated. Upon entering college as a freshman, it is important for students to get involved within the campus community.

Exploration through campus clubs, student organizations, and internships, in addition to academic exploration, allows a student to make a well-rounded decision about their major based on their interests, values, and strengths.

You can help your student by guiding them to resources like our Explore Majors/Careers section and additional resources on job market demand, interest inventories, salary ranges, and long-term opportunities.

Encourage your student to come into the Career Center and meet with a career counselor to offer support in the decision making process.

The Career Center provides weekly office hours as well as counseling appointments to offer support in the decision making process of choosing a major.


How important is it do an internship?

An internship is an important aspect of a student's education in today's competitive market. Internships serve as an opportunity for students to get "real-world" training in their field. An internship is a great way to get an inside glimpse of a company, an industry, and a particular occupation. It can help clarify whether or not a particular field is a good match for the candidate.

In addition, some employers expect candidates to have multiple internships on their resumes by the time they graduate. Many employers offer internships to students of sophomore to senior standing. Encourage your student to explore internships early in their college career.


What do employers look for in a candidate?

In today's economy, employers place their emphasis on specific abilities and not so much on a specific major. The top 5 personal qualities/skills employers seek, according to NACE's (National Association of Colleges and Employers) Job Outlook 2014 survey are:

  • Ability to make decisions and solve problems.
  • Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization
  • Ability to obtain and process information.
  • Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work.
  • Ability to analyze quantitative data.


What is the importance of leadership experience?

San José State University students have numerous opportunities to get involved on campus in leadership activities. Activities such as student clubs/organizations, community service learning, study abroad, and volunteer work are available at San José State University.

Extracurricular activities are a great way for students to make friends and have a well-rounded experience at San José State University. Encourage your student to take a leadership role in a club or during a class project to develop key skills/abilities that are vital to the workforce and in life, such as: delegating, motivating, inspiring, problem solving, and managing conflict. Additional information about student clubs and organizations is available at the Office of Student Involvement.

Opportunities like community service learning and leadership and study abroad give students the chance to make a difference in the community and gain academic credit while increasing their marketability in our global economy. You can find more information at the Center of Community Learning and Leadership and the Study Abroad office.


When should my student start applying for full-time jobs?

Generally it is best for a student to start the job search process earlier rather than later. It is accepted that the average time it takes to find full-time employment ranges from about three to six months. Students can start their job search through our 24/7 online job database, SJSU Handshake, but are also encouraged to pursue other avenues such as job fairs, informational interviewing, and networking events.


What is the average salary that my SJSU student can expect to receive after graduation?

Questions surrounding salary are one of the most frequently asked questions in the job search process. On the recommendation of our professional staff, the Career Center lists salary, job, and career information websites that detail aspects of average salaries based on industry and major. In addition, please refer to the Career Center Salary Survey which examines salaries for San José State University students specifically.

It should be noted that the salary that a student garners can be affected by the way a candidate highlights their relevant skills, accomplishments, and education to an employer. Encourage your student to utilize all of the Career Center resources early, so that they may learn how to effectively market themselves.


Why should I care about Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn?

According to a study by Jobvite,  93% of recruiters surveyed in 2014 were likely to look at a candidate's social profile. 42% have reconsidered a candidate based on content viewed in a social profile, leading to both positive and negative assessments.

In the context of a job search, be aware that any information posted on the web is public information and could have a profound effect on future employment. Ethics and integrity are important to possess and employers highly value them.