Explore Careers

In addition to identifying your VIPS (Values, Interests, Personality and Skills) and exploring majors, you will need to research possible careers. The more you know about various career paths, the easier it will be to find internships and jobs, or decide to apply to graduate school.

We encourage you to see a Career Advisor to discuss ways to explore your career options. You can also gather plenty of information at the various career fairs, employer presentations and alumni career and networking programs we hold throughout the year.

Explore Careers through Networking

Experienced professionals can share advice about industries, companies, required skills you will need, and connect you with resources for potential internship and job opportunities. One of the best ways to find people who can help you like this is to network.

As you conduct research and discover careers that match your skills and interests, the Tufts University Career Network and other Tufts groups on LinkedIn are valuable resources. If you aren’t sure what to ask, or how to begin this conversation, we can help with advice on career conversations (a.k.a. informational interviews) and networking.

Additionally, Tufts subscribes to resources to assist you in learning about industries and jobs. As you explore each career field through networking and the many links below, ask yourself:

  1. Can I see myself working in this particular career area?
  2. Does it match with my interests as well as I had anticipated?
  3. Will it afford me the lifestyle I seek?
  4. Does it use my top skills and match my top values and personal strengths?
Important Considerations

There are several things to take note of as you research industries and careers:

  • Education and skill requirements - What educational background or specific skills does this industry typically require? Will you need a graduate degree to get a job?
  • Typical positions - Where does an entry-level or experienced employee fit within this industry? How do responsibilities at entry level differ from more senior positions?
  • Day-to-day job operations - What does a typical day look like for an employee in this industry? How do the roles of the various members of an organization differ within the industry?
  • Industry trends and developments - What is the future of this industry? Is it expanding? What are the trends?
  • Personality traits/experiences valued by the field - What particular traits are necessary to be successful? Are there shared experiences that many of the people in this field have?
  • Salary information - What type of salary can you anticipate, given your education and experience level? What is the salary range for the field as you progress?
  • Hiring cycles and recruiting practices - When and how does the industry hire? Does this industry recruit on campus? Some industries have unique recruiting practices, and it is important to note these as you learn about them. For example, engineering, finance and consulting companies tend to recruit during the fall semester, while non-profits generally tend to hire later in the spring. Carefully research the hiring timelines for your targeted industries.
  • Geographic location - Are opportunities in your desired field primarily located in a specific area of the country or world? Would you be happy living there?
Resources Especially for Jumbos
  • Careers A-Z - A collection of websites in fields ranging from education, engineering, and entrepreneurship to marketing, math, museums, and more.

  • What Can I Do With This Major? This site helps you to connect specific majors to a variety of career options and learn about strategies for building experience inside and outside of the classroom.

  • APSIA Guides - Descriptions of 37 career paths in international affairs.

  • The Tisch Library Research Guides provide extensive industry and company information. Specifically, you can:

  1. Browse alphabetically by academic subject to find related career information and current news. This is especially useful as you seek to explore a major or a potential career
  2. Access Company and Industry databases. Sources include LexisNexis and Factiva (which has foreign language news pages and content). Both these as well as OneSource Global and EMIS allow you to screen for companies by industry and country.
  3. Use LexisNexis to review news, trends, and other information on 80 million companies including competitor data (useful as you apply to jobs or prepare for interviews.)

The following resource can only be accessed through the Career Center Resources menu in Handshake. Log in to Handshake, click on "Career Center" in the top nav, select “Resources” and then "Career Resources for Students & Alumni."

  • GoinGlobal:  Industry trends, job search information, and cultural advice in 40 countries.
Additional Online Research Tools
  • O*NET - One of the nation's primary sources of occupational information from the US Department of Labor. Search occupations by skills and interests, as well as educational paths. Under the Crosswalks/Educational Crosswalks link, search your major or prospective major's code here to learn about connected careers

  • My Next Move - Another U.S. Department of Labor resource, which provides three separate ways to narrow career options: by keyword, by industry and by using the O*NET Interest Profiler.

  • CareerOne Stop Toolkit - Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. Information about occupations, industries, and more.

  • Occupational Outlook Handbook - Learn about hundreds of occupations and the educational paths and experiences that lead to them.

  • Industry-specific publications - There are a number to follow such as Businessweek, Engineering News Record, Nonprofit Times, Poets & Writers, Bloomberg, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Advertising Age, Fortune, Backstage, and Fastcompany.com.

  • Industry lists - Some organizations that maintain “Top Places to Work” lists, rankings, and more include Glassdoor, Crain’s New York Business, Hoovers, Working Mother, and Forbes. Quintcareers has an extensive list of other ranking resources.

  • The MUSE – Information on all aspects of careers and companies.

  • Inside Jobs - A search tool with advice about 15,000 career profiles.

  • Wall Street Journal Careers - A fabulous site for career trends, job search advice, salary information and career-related insight. Some articles are subscriber-only.

  • ASAE – (American Society of Association Executives) Locate professional associations within your field of interest.

  • Company/organization web sites - Most organizations have robust text and video information about their companies, career paths, and other details under a Careers, About Us, or Contact Us sections. Also be sure to read the News and Events sections, as you'll find upcoming activities and recent press releases from organizations.

  • Social media - Many organizations have pages/feeds on sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, where they share unique information and even job postings. Make sure your online presence is professional before you start connecting with employers through these sites. LinkedIn is particularly helpful to learn about where employees of the company have worked before, and to see if any alumni from the university are (or have been) employed there.

  • Google News Alerts - Search for mentions of the organization in the news, and set up a news alert so you'll find out about updates quickly.

Next Steps

Once you have narrowed down your list of possible fields to a few areas of interest, try them out. Extracurricular activities, volunteering, internships and part-time jobs will help you build experience and skills. Be sure to update your resume with these experiences.

Remember that the decisions you make today will not define your entire career. So go ahead and focus on the experiences you would like to gain over the next couple of years. The Tufts Career Center is a lifelong resource for you.