The first step in your career development is to know what you want to do.
Explore your personal interests, choose your desired major, and know your career goals.
Keep track of your development progress with our SpartaTrack Career Plan.
Getting to Know Yourself
Take some time to define your core values, personality, preferences, interests, strengths and skills. Learn about how the core aspects of your identity can help you shape your career.
Choosing a Major at SJSU
If you haven’t decided on a major yet, here are some resources and tips to help you narrow down your choices. After exploring majors, be sure to continuing reading to see how your major can help you pursue your desired career.
- Watch A Spartan's Guide to Picking a Major at SJSU.
- All majors teach transferable skills that can be used across careers. It is estimated that between 50-80% of college graduates will work outside of their major field of study.
- Below are questions you can ask yourself when choosing a major:
- What kind of career do I want?
- Which classes have I enjoyed?
- What do I like to do in my spare time?
- Look at the list of majors at SJSU, read the course descriptions. See what major and classes interest you.
- Ask yourself "What about this major interests me?", and choose your top 3 choices.
- Schedule an appointment with an academic advisor to discuss your top choices and how to declare a major.
- Read Making the Most of Your Major for additional tips and strategies about choosing a major.
Learn about potential career paths related to your major.
- What Can I Do with My Major: Learn about common career paths and the types of employers that hire people with each major, as well as strategies to make you a more marketable candidate.
- Resources by Major: Find specific job and internship websites, professional associations, and organizations at SJSU to help you get involved in your major.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: This database gives information on hundreds of occupations which include industry/job descriptions, salary, and growth data, and educational requirements for entry into the field.
- O*Net: O*NET OnLine has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more!
- Emerging Markets: Emerging markets are industries with potential for growth of career opportunities. The Career Center identified six: Social Media,BioTech, Energy Management, 3D Printing, Health Care, and Green Industry.
Making Major/Career Decisions
Once you've gathered information on majors or careers of interest, it's time to make a decision. Select your top three choices and then review the following:
- Make a pros and cons list based on your top values (what's most important to you: e.g. salary requirements, location, time to graduation).
- Talk with family, friends and even faculty or staff. Conduct informational interviews with people you know who have declared the major/career you are thinking about.
- Come into the Career Center and meet with a counselor to review your major/career options. If you would like to discuss choosing a major, complete the Pre-Appointment Worksheet to identify your top 3 majors and bring this worksheet to your appointment.
- Schedule an appointment with an academic advisor to discuss your choices for a major.
- Considering graduate school? Check out graduate school resources.