Career Exploration

It is a common misconception that a specific major leads to just one specific career. In reality any major can lead to many career options! That is why it is important to be informed when choosing your next career move. This page will provide you with resources and information that can be helpful when exploring what your next career move might be.

Your Academic & Career Advisor is always happy to assist you with your career exploration process and discuss options!

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Career Exploration Tools

One of the best resources for gathering realistic career outcome information for UW students is Linkedin Alumni, a search tool found within LinkedIn. In order to effectively use Linkedin Alumni, you should first create a Linkedin profile and connect to as many people as you know on Linkedin.

Linkedin Alumni allows you to filter through over 250,000 UW-Madison alumni in all stages of their career. Filter alumni by city, company, job function, major, keywords, and more! By using Linkedin Alumni, you can look at specific profiles of individuals with educational & career backgrounds aligning with yours and discover the paths they took to get there as well as potentially connect with those alumni. This is a great way to develop an informed plan for your own career as well as build your professional network

How to Use the Linkedin Alumni Tool

Similar to Linkedin Alumni, BadgerBridge is UW-Madison’s homegrown online network of UW-Madison students and alumni. On BadgerBridge, you can interact with classmates and alumni who are eager to connect and support you!

In the Directory tab of Badger Bridge, You can filter alumni based on various factors such as major, industry, company, and more. A great feature of BadgerBridge is that you can see which alumni are willing to help by offering advice, providing resume feedback, or discussing internships. Finally, similar to Linkedin, you can learn more about each alumni’s career path and even reach out to them. The following video walks you through how to use BadgerBridge’s directory feature.

How to Use BadgerBridge

There are many sources of information available to you to learn more about various industries and roles that exist. The following websites are great places to start if you are looking to gather information and explore your options:

Occupational Outlook Handbook. 

Compiled of information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this website is great for those who have specific career paths in mind that they would like to learn more about.

O*Net Online.

Similar to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, O*Net Online contains a wealth of information about occupations as well as various tools and assessments to explore your interests.

Another great tool you can use to identify potential careers of interest is to conduct a mock job search. On the Job and Internship Search page, you can learn more about the job search tools available to you and how to effectively use them.

Consider the skills you have (or would like to have), the topics that interest you, and the tasks you have enjoyed doing. These are all great keywords to input into a job search site. By using filters and keywords that interest you, you will be able to gain a realistic idea of the types of roles that currently exist and the qualifications needed. Try it out and see what you discover!

As you browse job postings, we recommend keeping a list of items that stand out to you such as:

  • Skills Sought
  • Interesting Companies
  • Common Job Titles of Interest
  • Roles & Responsibilities that Interest You

After compiling a list, begin to pull out common themes that may have shown. Are you noticing that all of the duties and skills involve working with people? Being analytical? These themes will help you further narrow your options until you discover careers that make the most sense for you.  Are there skills or duties that sound interesting, but you’d like to learn more about them? These are great discussion areas to bring up during an informational interview!

Informational Interviews are one of the most beneficial ways to learn more about a career path and potentially build meaningful connections at the same time.

On the Networking page,  you can more about informational interviews, how to initiate contact with individuals of interest, and how to conduct an effective informational interview.