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Career Planning: A Guide to Getting Started

Feb
18
2013

If you’re not sure what career is the best fit for you, you’re not alone. People are often unsure of exactly what kind of career they want to pursue, and college students sometimes choose one major that they know about when another might be a better choice for their strengths. It can be helpful to spend some time exploring personal interests and abilities to identify what kind of career is the right fit for you.

Step 1: Career Planning Assessments

If you're unsure which direction is right for you, there are a variety of free resources available through PTC's Career Planning and Counseling Center that can help you learn more about your personality type, skills and interests. This is often the first step to discovering the kinds of careers you'll enjoy, and it can be a big help in narrowing down your options to a more manageable list.

Self-assessments are easy and interactive activities. The Career Planning office's staff will direct you through the process and help you interpret the results. These tools will not necessarily tell you what major or career to pursue, but will suggest occupations that would be a good fit for your personality and interests.

Online:
Paper and Pencil:
  • The Strong Interest Inventory is a widely used test that will help give you insight into your interests, preferences, and personal style. It can help you identify specific courses, jobs, internships, and activities you're likely to enjoy, and will generate a list of the top 10 occupations you're most likely to find rewarding.

  • The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a different kind of test that can help you identify your strengths and unique gifts. You can use the information to better understand yourself, your motivation, your strengths and potential areas of growth.

Step 2: Exploring Careers on Your Own

After you've narrowed down your list, it can be helpful to start exploring careers on your own. Many sites offer free and up-to-date occupational information to help you research careers. Some of the ones PTC recommends are:

  • After you've taken some time to understand your skill set, the O*NET Skills Search can help you discover the kinds of careers that will most closely match your skills. 

  • Right here on PTC's web site, Career Tracks provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about programs of study at Piedmont Technical College. The information includes job duties, salary information for recent graduates and placement rates of recent graduates.

  • For those looking for more in-depth information, including growth potential and national salary ranges, Career One Stop offers a wealth of information powered by the U.S. Department of Labor's employment statistics. You can watch career videos, find out about salary and employment trends in the jobs you're considering and more. 

Step 3: One on One Assistance

Still unsure? The good news is that Piedmont Technical College has a whole department dedicated to helping you figure it out. PTC's Career Planning and Counseling Center has a full-time, professional staff dedicated to helping students look for a career path or major that will capture their interests, utilize their strengths, and match with their values.

Professional counselors can assist current students and those considering attending college in choosing or changing careers and planning a program of study.

The Career Planning and Counseling Center is located in room 149A in the Administrative Building on the Greenwood Campus. Appointments are recommended but walk-ins are welcome. For more information call Brenda Edwards at (864) 941-8356 or email edwards.b@ptc.edu.

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