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A Step-by-Step Career Planning Method

Self Assessment: Take an inventory

Take time to examine your interests, abilities, values and personality characteristics. The Columbia State Career Services webpage offers online access to the following: 

Take a career assessment to explore your interests and see how you compare to people in different professions and college majors.

Career Assessments are available online the following links:

Track Down Information

  • Get career ideas from your career assessment results.
  • Explore web sites that describe career specific information. US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) link:
  • Explore web sites on what you can do with different majors. Columbia State Career Services webpage offers “What Can I Do With This Major?” link:
  • Gather factual data from web sites and printed material. EMSI Career Coach (select Search careers or browse all careers, then click on the title of position to view wage and labor market information, employment trends, current data of postings in field) link:
  • Talk to professionals in the field you are exploring to gain perspective, professional opinion and advice. This process of seeking professional opinion can include instructors/program directors who teach in your field of interest, business industry leaders, national trade and professional association organizations or participating in networking events based on field of interest. Consider doing the following:

  • Get practical experience through volunteer, part-time or summer jobs. 

The Columbia State Career Services webpage posts Hot Jobs and Paid Internships weekly. 

The Career Services webpage has job search tips on the following links:

Analyze and Evaluate Information

  • Narrow your options down to your top 3-5 choices.
  • Weigh the pros and cons of each choice.
  • Think long term and look for multiple paths to the same career.

Reach a Decision

  • Make a decision and choose backup options.
    • Declare a program of study and complete a CHANGE OF MAJOR form to be submitted to Enrollment Services/Processing Office link: (page scroll down to Forms, select Change of Major – Degree or Change of Major – Certificate)
    • Columbia State Community College offers over 70 programs of study. The Program Fliers provide students with program and career descriptions, labor market information, transfer options (if applicable), program requirements, sample schedules and program/division contact information. To view a full list of programs link: (select Program Fliers, then select program to view details)

Take Action

  • Develop your action plan and implement short term goals.

A Great Place To Start. Invest in Columbia State.

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