Office ofCareer Connections

Major and Career Exploration

Jump to: What Can I Do with a Major In... | WOIS | Occupational Outlook Handbook | Informational Interviewing | Job Shadowing | Internships

What Can I Do with a Major In…

We have all heard the stories (academic legends instead of urban legends) - an English major who has made a fortune making gourmet cookies, a college dropout who made his first million before thirty as a software developer, or a philosophy major who now heads a Fortune 500 company. But what about the rest of the liberal arts folks? These web resources allow you to explore the options open to all majors.

WOIS/The Career Information System

wois logoWOIS/The Career Information System is a private, nonprofit organization that researches and distributes information about Washington careers, schools and training programs. Once logged in you can research academic programs and occupations in Washington state and take inventories that will help you match your skills to an occupation. Contact Career Development for the login and password.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Published by the Department of Labor, The Dictionary of Occupational Titles and Occupational Outlook Handbook will provide you concrete information about thousands of jobs: the outlook of specific professions, salary, degrees required, typical work and complementary careers to explore.

Informational Interviewing

Informational Interviewing is a useful networking tool. It is an opportunity to meet people who have a career you are considering and to gain clarity on the profession.

Job Shadowing

Job shadowing is a work-based learning experience that allows a visitor to follow a host during a typical day (or period of time) observing and asking questions about a particular career. Job Shadowing is a versatile activity, allowing student career exploration.

The student follows an employer for one or more days to learn about a particular occupation or industry without actually being involved in hands-on activities. They are able to witness a variety of tasks and learn about the educational requirements associated with the career. This work-based experience gives the student a realistic idea of whether or not they are truly comfortable with their particular career interest.

The visitor should interview the workplace host using prepared interview questions.

  • The visitor should receive a thorough tour of the workplace to gain an understanding of the type of career being explored.
  • The visitor should be introduced to key employees and informed of their roles and responsibilities in the organization as well as their educational backgrounds.
  • The student should write a thank you letter to the host and other key people.


Internships are a great way to explore a potential career and maybe even earn academic credit at the same time. Use the Academic Internship Office to help set you up for success to get the most from your internship opportunity.

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