Plan for College

Learn how to prepare for the education and training that will get you your dream job.

Turn Your Career Goal into a College Plan

Eight ways to promote your career while in college

What do you want to leave college with? Technical expertise and a professional certification? Knowledge of a specialized field that earns you a job straight out of school? A liberal arts education that prepares you for more school and eventually a degree to practice law or medicine? Whatever your goal, there are things you can do while in school to promote your employability and get you to your career destination. Here are a few ways you can shape your future career while still earning your degree or certificate.

  1. Do some market research. You'll find employment trends by state and occupation at CareerOneStop . AIE offers a concise graphic to help you gauge the chances your degree will get you your dream job. Add to that picture by visiting Career Choices, which offers an estimate of what you can expect to make in a given occupation by city.
  2. Choose courses to gain skills. Your school will define required courses for your program of study. But within that list, you can choose courses that help you specialize in needed skills.
  3. Take advantage of internships. College internships offer a great way to meet people in your field and broaden your skills.
  4. Talk to your instructors. In some cases, your course instructors may act as mentors. They probably know the job market well enough to give you advice on how to break into a given field.
  5. Check in with the campus career center. Your school's career center will likely by a nerve center for all things job-related. Career centers set up career fairs for students, offer advice on how to appeal to prospective employers, and may have a database of job leads you could tap into.
  6. Join clubs on campus. Networking starts in college, and clubs can be a great way to nurture your interests and skills as well as meet potential future career colleagues.
  7. Get involved with trade or professional associations. By joining a trade association, you broaden your job contacts, and you learn more about the business etiquette (how to introduce yourself and talk about your aspirations) and networking that can help you get ahead.
  8. Establish yourself online. Start a blog while in school that reflects your professional interests and learning. You can use this blog as a platform for building your resume or portfolio, which you'll need for job interviews.

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