Cowley College

Academic Support

Career & Employment

Timeline for Deciding on a Career / Major

Freshman Year:

  • Determine if you want to obtain an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree. Depending on the degree you are seeking, you will have specific required courses to take. For example, if you are going for an AS, you should enroll in a science course every semester.
  • Explore your interests and abilities by enrolling in introductory “test” courses.
  • Utilize career assessment tools offered by your advisor or Career Services to explore your interests, abilities and values.
  • Consider volunteer positions or part time jobs to help build your resume and broaden your experiences.
  • Join student organizations that will help you explore your interests, develop new skills and gain leadership experiences.
  • Make a list of majors/occupations that you are considering and research them using the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
  • Learn about different majors by going to the Career Services “what can I do with a major in…” web page.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to discuss the courses you should take each semester based on the preliminary majors that you are considering. Establish a strong relationship with your advisor. They can help you with the decision making process and provide you with information about different majors.
  • Begin checking into academic requirements for the majors/careers you are considering. How many years of college does each career require? What majors are appropriate for each career? What universities offer that major?
  • Develop an action plan for the upcoming year that details exactly what steps you will take to narrow your list of potential majors.

Sophomore Year:

  • To learn more about necessary skills and qualifications of a career, conduct informational interviews with instructors/professionals or set up a job shadow appointment.
  • Choose your courses carefully. Enroll in electives that will enhance your future employment opportunities and give you a basic foundation for major coursework.
  • Continue to explore career related websites. Using the information you have gathered, make a list of all of the positive and negative features of the majors/careers you are considering and narrow your major choices to three. By your last semester at Cowley, you should have your major choices narrowed to one or two.
  • Continue to gain work experience through volunteering, internships, and part time jobs.
  • Keep your advisor informed of your decisions on a major and transfer institution.
  • Update or begin to write a resume of your qualifications, courses and experiences.
  • Begin networking with professionals in your field through professional memberships and campus/community involvement.