Major and Career Exploration

Career/Major exploration graphic

Undecided about your major? Looking for the "right" career for you?

We can help.

Major and career exploration is a process, a journey that takes time, information, reflection, and action. These steps below will help you understand the steps you will be taking to make wise choices about your major and career choices. Remember that this journey of discovering your major/career and your purpose may be repeated at various stages in your life, and it does not always go in a straight line. That is OK! This site will give you the tools to get started.

CCD1170 Career Exploration course (1 credit)

In addition to the tools on this site, Normandale offers a 1-credit course every fall and spring to help students navigate this process. This course is designed to help students define their interests, values, personality, skills and strengths, and relate these to their choice of major and career. 

Step 1: Know Yourself

Understanding where you are and who you are is the first step in your career decision-making process.  In this step, you will actively engage in self-discovery and reflection searching for a "fit" between who you are and the work you could do.

Interests

GPS LifePlan Interest Assessment

  • Explore your top three interest themes.  You can take your top themes and explore online what careers may be a good fit.

Strong Interest Inventory (SII) Also included in the CCD1170 course

  • This comprehensive 30-45 minute inventory (cost is $10) compares your interests with people working in a broad range of occupations.
  • After taking the assessment, call 952-358-8621 to schedule a 60-minute appointment with a Normandale counselor to discuss your results.
  • To sign up, pick up the registration form in Advising and Counseling, or print the registration form and take it to the Billing and Payments Office.

Skills

O*NET OnLine Skills Search

  • Matches the skills you select with potential careers.

CareerOneStop Skills Matcher

  • Gives you a list of career options that might be a good fit.

The CliftonStrengths for Students  Also included in the CCD 1170 course

  • This online assessment (cost is $10) helps you identify, understand, and maximize of your strengths, the ways you naturally think, feel, and behave.
  • While it does not suggest career options for you, it can help you learn how you can contribute to any work environment.
  • If you would like, you can also make an appointment with a Normandale Advisor or Counselor to discuss your results.
    • Just print off your results (or remember the login you create when you take the assessment) and bring them to your appointment. Call 952-358-8261 to schedule.  

Personality

The 16 Personalities test

  • Learn your personality type and get an explanation of how your personality type can influence relationships, career paths, and workplace habits.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Also included in the CCD 1170 course

  • This 30-minute assessment (cost is $15) helps you better understand your behavioral preferences.
  • To sign up, pick up the registration form from Advising and Counseling, or print the registration form and take it to the Billing and Payments Office.
  • Once you complete the assessment, call 952-358-8621 to schedule a 60-minute appointment with a Normandale counselor to discuss your results.

Values

Work Values Test

  • Shows which of 14 career values are most important to you.

Explore with a Normandale Counselor

For a more comprehensive assessment of your values, meet with a Normandale counselor to do a free values card sort exercise that will introduce you to a thorough list of career and life values and help you sort which are the most important to you. Call 952-358-8261 to schedule.

Normandale Career Exploration Class (CCD 1170) This 1-credit course taught by a Normandale counselor helps you explore your career interests. 

Step 2: Explore Options

In this step you will be proactively identifying, understanding and matching yourself to possible career/majors. To explore your options with an advisor or counselor, schedule an Exploring Majors/Careers appointment

Career Options for Degree

  • See how your Holland Code (RIASEC) matches your major here
  • Search which campus has your program at Minnesota State colleges and universities here  

Occupational Research

  • Do a career search-occupations, wages, demands, job openings, related education and much more here
  • See how your education matches the occupation here  

Industry Trends

  • See what the labor market demand is looking like in MN and other states here

Normandale Career Exploration Class (CCD 1170)

  • This 1-credit course taught by a Normandale counselor helps you explore your career options.

Step 3: Get Focused

In this step, you will set goals, make decisions, and create an action plan to reach your goals.

Career Goal Setting

  • Use Smart Goal Setting.  Find out more about how to develop a plan and identify specific goals with GPS Life Plan.  

Career Decision Making

Career Action Planning

CCD1170 Career Exploration course

  • This 1-credit course taught by a Normandale counselor helps you to get focused on your career interests. 

Step 4: Take Action

In this step, you will carry out the specific actions needed to move forward with your chosen career by gaining experiences, planning your degree, transferring, or searching or an internship or job.  

Transfer

Job Search

  • College Central Network to search for off-campus jobs, share your resume with employers, and access job searching resources.
  • Student Jobs Website Search on-campus jobs.
  • CAREERWise Minnesota State College and University's resources for employment and education options, along with job postings
  • MinnesotaWorks Job postings in Minnesota

Gain Experience

Normandale Career Exploration Class (CCD 1170)

This 1-credit course taught by a Normandale Counselor helps you to take action on your career goals.