Education and Human Development

Explore career paths

The process of deciding which major is right for you is linked to your career possibilities. As you explore, you will find information about “careers,” “occupations” and “jobs.” It's helpful to know what these terms mean.

  • A major is an academic program that you focus on. Most CEHD majors prepare you for specific careers.
  • An occupation is a certain set of work activities, skills and knowledge that is done on an ongoing basis.
  • A job is when you work in an occupation at a specific organization.
  • A career is your experience or vision/aspirations related to a group of related jobs/occupations. Your career includes education, past jobs, community involvement, and hobbies that demonstrate self-development. Most people will have a few careers -- they work in a few types of occupations at different times in their lives.

Discover pathways that might fit you

Discover the industries, occupations and employers that many students go to for internships, part-time and full-time employment, and networking connections while they are in CEHD and after graduation. Remember, the world of work is always evolving. Job titles and work settings continuously change. Connect with a career coach at any time to talk about your career journey.

Careers in business Careers in business

Occupations in the Business Management and Administration career area relate to planning, organizing, directing and evaluating the functions essential to efficient and productive operations.

Careers in communications and media Careers in communications and media

Occupations in the arts, audio/video technology, and vommunications career area relate to designing, producing, exhibiting, performing, writing, and publishing multimedia content, including visual and performing arts and design, journalism, and…

Careers in computer, technology, and data Careers in computer, technology, and data

Occupations in the information technology career area relate to the design, development, support and management of hardware, software, multimedia and systems integration services.

Careers in education Careers in education

Occupations in the Education and Training career area relate to the activities and resources that provide all types of learning services for people of all ages and in different settings.

Careers in environment, natural resources, and sustainability Careers in environment, natural resources, and sustainability

Occupations in the Environment, Natural Resources & Sustainability career area relate to the research, analysis, planning, production, marketing, governance, preservation or advocacy of environmental services, agriculture, forestry, natural resource…

Careers in health Careers in health

The primary work of occupations in the Health Science career area study, diagnose, treat and prevent human illness, injury and other physical and mental impairments.

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What is important to you?

A “good job” gives you more than just a paycheck. The type of work you do influences all parts of your life. For example, the location and hours you work affect the time you spend with family and friends. And you are more likely to enjoy jobs that are related to your interests, values, skills and strengths.

When researching which occupations might fit you, also think about access, job quality, pay, and related occupations.

  • Access: Hiring requirements and job availability
    • Ask -- How many jobs are available near where I want to live? If needed, do I want to go to graduate school or enter special training?
    • Look For -- Related experience; education requirements; and credentials needed for entry-level jobs.
    • Find Out -- Number of job openings; projected growth and future job openings.
  • Job quality: Work environment, schedule and compensation
    • Ask -- Does this opportunity fit my values and interests? What type of work setting fits my personality (hospital, corporation, outdoors, school, etc.)? Is this job a good fit for my current lifestyle?
    • Look For -- Benefits and perks that fit your life; work shifts that fit your schedule.
    • Find Out -- If jobs are typically full time, part time, permanent, contract or seasonal.
  • Pay: Salary or wages
    • Ask -- What salary range aligns with my preferred lifestyle and goals? In a few years, what might be my potential income?
    • Look For -- Low, median and high wages for an occupation.
    • Find Out -- Average pay for this job where you want to live; compensation offered by specific employers.
  • Related occupations: Jobs in the same career area
    • Ask -- What are my transferable skills? Which industries or career cluster do I want to be part of my career journey?
    • Look For -- Other occupations using the same skills, abilities and knowledge; similar jobs in different work settings.
    • Find Out -- Higher level jobs related to this entry-level position; access, job quality and pay for similar occupations.

How to research potential careers

    Step #1: Explore occupations

    Select 3-6 occupations you might consider for an internship or employment opportunities. Think about your personality and interests and which opportunities and work settings might fit you. Think about which occupations you might qualify for now or immediately after graduation, and which higher-level occupations you might want to go into in the future.     

    It’s okay if you don’t know a lot about career possibilities. You will find out more through the next actions.

    Step #2: Define your research

    Your career includes education, past jobs, community involvement, and hobbies that demonstrate self-development. Most people will have a few careers -- they work in a few types of occupations at different times in their lives.

    Here’s an example of how this might connect for a CEHD alum:

    Lee’s major was Business and Marketing Education. After graduation, Lee got hired at a company in Duluth with the job title of Marketing Specialist. Lee’s occupation is that of a Marketing Research Analyst. Lee’s career includes their internships and jobs over the years in marketing, social media and project management. Lee’s career also includes participation in professional groups, and volunteer work helping a nonprofit organization with its social media campaigns.

    What is your career vision or desired career? Think about how your education, student activities and other experiences can fit together over time to create your first career.

    Step #3: Explore labor market information (LMI)

    The labor market is an important part of the economy. Think of the United States labor market as a marketplace. Employers are customers. Job seekers and employees market their skills and knowledge areas for employers to rent for long-term, short-term, fulltime or parttime work. 
    Labor market information (LMI) is data about the current state of employment, and projections about the future of the work in various career areas, and geographic locations.

    LMI for Career Exploration and Job Searching

    • Access – What is required to start this occupation (license, graduate degree, work experience, etc.)? How many job openings are there where you want to live?
      LMI to explore: Education, Certifications, Related Experience, Job Training
    • Job Quality – Is this occupation high or low paying? Do these jobs usually offer benefits? What are the work conditions and typical shift hours?
      LMI to explore: Tasks, Work Activities, Projected Growth, State Trends, Unemployment Rate
    • Pay – What are the average wages for entry-level jobs in your region? What is the earning potential for people with a few years of experience?
      LMI to explore: Wages by Occupation, Earnings by Industry
    • Related Occupations – What other jobs use similar skills? What higher level jobs does this lead to?
      LMI to explore: Related Occupations, Industry, Career Clusters

    Where to Find LMI

    Data for occupations and career areas in the United States can be found on CareerOneStop or O*NET. Both websites have the same accurate, reliable information from the U.S. Department of Labor, they just look different. Pick whichever website you like. Also, ask a Career Coach for ideas any time during your exploration.

    • On CareerOneStop, put a job title in “Search for Occupation” or click “List of Occupations” to see multiple positions in a career area. Choose your location (put in the state where you want to live or a ZIP code).
    • On O*NET, put the name of a career in “Occupation Keyword Search,” or look at a list of occupations related to your major in “Career Cluster” or “Job Family.”

    Click on an occupation name to find details about access, job quality, pay and related occupations.

    Step #4: Assess the information

    Think about each occupation you explored. What did you like? What are you still curious about?

    • Record or write down the occupations you are most interested in, and why. 
    • Notice the skills and experience needed to access occupations you might want to go into.
    • Explore other sources of information. Who or what will help you in your exploration or decision making?

    Step #5: Talk to people in these careers

    Want to know what it's really like to work in an occupation or career area? Looking for inside information about an employer? The best way to get specific insights is to talk with people who are in the career area you are curious about.

    Who to talk to

    • People working in an occupation or career area
    • Alumni of career-specific education programs
    • Hiring managers and recruiters
    • Current and former employees of specific companies

    What to talk about

    Request an informational interview with 3-5 people to hear different perspectives about career opportunities.

    Step #6: Choose 2-3 occupations to pursue

    Based on your research, choose a few occupations to prepare for your next internship or job. After you have gained the education, credentials and experiences needed to access an occupation, connect with potential employers and apply for positions.

    In the future when you are curious about different careers, follow these steps to explore new opportunities. 

    Want to explore more?

    There are a wide variety of additional resources and opportunities found on....