The relationship between major and career is indirect and complicated. Deciding on a major, whether you are choosing one or contemplating a change, can be a daunting task, especially when you are trying to connect the major to some future career.
Take the first step toward making major and career decisions; click on the Guide below. This Guide will provide you with confidence in decision-making and bring you closer to choosing a major that fits your interests, strengths and personality.
The Career Development Cycle model was created to help students better understand the process of career development and explore career paths. Over time, you will find yourself building up both your resume and your confidence in a particular career direction.
Getting experience can involve anything from taking a class that interests you to joining a club or completing an internship. Experiencing something will allow you to distinguish between your likes and dislikes. Further, this will help you discover where your strengths and/or weaknesses lie.
Reflection is a great way to understand your experiences more fully. Whether using a career log, journal writing, or talking with a career counselor, this practice can help you organize your thoughts, better understand yourself and create career goals.
The career direction you think you want to pursue after graduation. This may be as specific as “I want to be a pediatrician” OR may be more broad like “I want to work with children.”
Doing occupational research through online resources, meeting with alumni through the Career Advisors Network (CAN) to talk about their career experiences, or observing others doing a job you think you would like to do someday.
To find out more about how you can network with alumni, click here.
You can also gain more knowledge from an insider's perspective through informational interviewing, which will help you better understand a particular position or industry.
Have you heard about a “career test” that will tell you exactly what majoror career path you should take?
That idea is a little misleading, because no website or piece of paper can truly know who you are and what’s best for you. However, there are self-assessment tools that can help you understand yourself better, which in turn can help you figure out what’s best for you.
LEARN MORE: The SBU Career Assessment Guide
SUGGESTED ACTION :
Take one more of these career assessments and review with one of our career coaches.
What qualities do you value in your work and overall lifestyle? What motivates you and why? Some people want variety, autonomy, and flexibility, while others need security and prestige. There are no right or wrong answers here, so think of your ideal scenario.
Job satisfaction and success is closely linked to being interested in what you do. With an eye on future fulfillment, consider accomplishments, tasks or projects at which you excelled and which created a sense of pride and satisfaction.
Personality traits play a major role in job satisfaction and success, and being the right “fit” involves numerous factors. Personality inventories and assessments offer insight into how your personality compares to others and how you prefer to work.
Review your accomplishments to uncover skills critical to your success. Then think about how they connect to a potential career. This will help you understand what to market in your search.
Work/Life Balance Assessments
" PERMA" stands for the five essential elements that should be in place for us to experience lasting well-being. These are: Positive Emotion, Engagement, Positive Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment. This survey adds to Seligman’s model an H, for Health.
VIA Character Strengths Survey Understanding who we are is essential to finding the right career fit and living a more purposeful life. A lot of attention has been given to better understanding our character and strengths as they relate to living a more meaningful, successful, and happy life.
Emotional intelligence refers to an ability to recognize the meanings of emotion and their relationships, and to reason and problem-solve on the basis of them.
Career Competencies Employers Want
Career competencies are the skills required to successfully perform a job. Until now, “career readiness” has been hard to define, which made it difficult for leaders in higher education, workforce development, and public policy to work together effectively to ensure the career readiness of today’s graduates.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), through a task force of select professionals, identified eight competencies associated with career readiness.Read More
Gathering information about careers and professions can be a difficult task. We have provided you with a number of resources we trust for information about the professions you may be interested in pursuing.
Through the Career Center, you have access to occupational profiles, industry overviews, in-depth employer profiles, the "electronic water cooler" message boards, employee surveys, salary trends, and more.
For hundreds of jobs, the Occupational Outlook Handbook tells you:
- The training and education you will need
- Expected job prospects
- What workers do on the job
- Working conditions
A product of the NY State Department of Labor, CareerZone is a free career exploration and planning system designed especially for New York State students.
NACE collects job offer salary information to compile a list of salaries by degree level and other factors.
Salary.com's cutting-edge technology is integrated with actionable data and content, empowering customers to make the best decisions about pay.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Careeronestop is your source for career exploration, training and jobs.
The O*NET database provides extensive information about various careers, including: the kinds of tasks one would perform in a certain career, the tools and technology used in the occupation, skill sets, abilities, knowledge, what is needed to go into that occupation, related occupations, and much more.
We offer a variety of ways for you to learn from alumni and friends about careers: Formal mentoring programs, Alumni Association LinkedIn Group page, alumni career articles in Stony Brook Matters, and alumni virtual panels.
Career Communities Mentoring program (six month)
The Career Communities Mentoring program takes place from October through April and will require 4-5 meetings. During this program, mentees will set direction for career goals, create an Individual Development Plan (IDP) and participate in a job shadow experience. The Career Center provides mentees with the needed support to make the most out of this mentorship experience.
Mentorship is an important part of career success. Mentors give mentees guidance and insight, while working on action-oriented career goals; this process helps build confidence and enables better career decisions. Please note: we'll do our best to match you with an alumni mentor within career of interest.
Career Advisors Network (micro-mentoring program)
If you are interested having a one-time career conversation (micro-mentoring) with a SBU Mentor, this is the program for you. A SBU Mentor is a professional who volunteers his or her time to network, provide advice, and provide career insight for students and recent alumni.
This program is about making connections and sharing information – not about asking for jobs/internships. Attend one of our workshops to learn more about this program.
Check Handshake for upcoming Networking for Career Success workshops.
Additional Ways to Learn From SBU Alum:
Alumni Career Virtual Panels
Visit Handshake for upcoming virtual events.
The Stony Brook University Alumni Association and the Career Center organizes a large-scale networking mixer to help promote and facilitate connections between students and alumni; and also provides opportunities for alumni to alumni to network. This event usually takes place in March/April.
Making educated career decisions can be difficult at any stage of career development. The Alumni Career section in Stony Brook Matters is intended for Stony Brook University students and alumni to learn career knowledge and get advice from experienced alumni, working in various career fields, about lessons learned from their career experiences.
Tour Your Future Series offers alumni the opportunity to attend alumni employer site visits for ONE DAY. Alumni hosts will talk about their organization, industry, internships, and job opportunities. This is a chance for alumni to get the inside scoop and literally get their foot in the door. See Handshake for future tours.
Select past tours: CA Technologies, Bloomberg, The Federal Drug Administration (FDA), Google