College-bound means career-bound, but knowing what to do with that degree may be another story altogether. Though you may feel like your degree is one-track – an English BA means a teacher, right? – there are actually many ways you can leverage your degree, no matter what field it is in. Luckily, you don’t have to figure it out all on your own (you’ve done enough of that lately, anyway). Your college or university will have valuable resources to help you along the way. Remember, your success is their success, so they are invested in your achievement after graduation, too.

Here are some things to consider when deciding what career suits you best.

Check Out the Career Center

From connections with the local job market to getting you more experience in your desired field, they can help you get started on the right foot. They can help you build a strong resume, learn your strengths, and help you ultimately decide on a field. The time to get started with the career center is as early as possible. Let one of their career center professionals get to know you so they can advise you of your next steps.

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Understand Where Your Degree Can Take You

Often, students who graduate with a particular degree think they can only work in that field of employment. This is not always the case. Typically, the career center tracks graduating students and where they end up getting a job. They may have a list of careers related to your degree that you had never even considered. Did you start with an English degree but find literature boring? Law might be a next step. Has advanced chemistry become overwhelming? Use your credits in chem toward a degree in Science Ed and consider teaching. Degrees don’t nail you to a trade; consider them as a step in the right direction.

Ask About Hiring Cycles

Some companies operate on hiring schedules. This means they only take on new employees at certain times of the year. If this is true for your dream position, you will want to know and understand this schedule very clearly to make sure you do not miss out on the perfect opportunity.

Check Out Job Fairs

The career center is not the only place on campus to get your employment opportunities. Don’t forget to attend other events as well. Job fairs are fairly common yearly events on campuses large and small, but do some research into other places that may host a job fair. The more networking you do, the more chances someone will have valuable information for you. You may also find a job opportunity you had no idea about, creating a new opportunity to follow through.

Consider Studying Abroad

Studying abroad is an eye-opening experience. It gives students a bigger picture of the world around them and may also outline key factors to help choose a line of work. College is the perfect time for travel because when you do it through a university program, it’s usually at least half the cost it would be otherwise. Additionally, there will be resources connected with the school once you find where you want to go. The experience of living in another country and working closely with other cultures makes students more culturally sensitive, a big strength in the workplace. Check out the opportunities your school offers and see if one is the right fit for you.

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