Exploring Majors and Careers
Connect with Employers
Graduate & Professional School
Planning Your Career / 4-year Plan
First Year (1-30 credits)
- Plan to graduate in four years by following the 30-60-90 Student Success Roadmap
- Learn the academic system by reviewing the UMD Catalog, class schedule, liberal education requirements, major requirements and course prerequisites.
- Explore your interests, skills, personality and values. Consider taking the Strong Interest Inventory, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or StrengthsQuest available in Career and Internship Services
- Explore possible career choices using the Career Resource Center, "What Can I Do With This Major", the UMD Graduate Follow-up Report , which lists what recent UMD graduates are doing, the UMD and local libraries, conducting informational interviews, and attending job fairs.
- Consider tentative major(s) by reading the UMD Catalog; talking with advisors, counselors, instructors, friends and family; taking various liberal education courses; and attending the annual UMD Major/Minor Fair.
- Study the UMD Catalog to learn about resources on campus
- Visit Career and Internship Services to become familiar with the services offered.
- Get involved and begin the networking process. Participate in student activities, clubs, organizations or volunteer opportunities.
- Enroll in major core courses with the help of advisor, faculty and/or counselors.
- Do your best academically.
- Become familiar with academic standards necessary for acceptance into some majors.
- Seek help for difficult courses from the instructors, department tutors and/or campus tutors.
- Write your resume. Resume samples are available in the Career Handbook and a resume review service is available in Career and Internship Services.
- Begin building your portfolio.
- Get experience.
- Get a job and/or do volunteer work that will provide you with an opportunity to learn about a career that interests you.
Second Year (31-60 credits)
- Continue exploring your interests, values, personality and skills.
- Continue to research majors and career fields of interest to you.
- Sign up for group and/or individual career counseling in Career and Internship Services.
- Continue to study the UMD Catalog and learn the academic system.
- Complete introductory courses in prospective major field.
- Maintain a strong GPA.
- If required, prepare and apply for acceptance into your desired major.
- Enroll in CnEd 2535 Major and Career Exploration course to explore career options related to your interests, values, skills and personality.
- Join organizations related to your interest areas.
- Attend job fairs and/or Graduate and Professional School Day.
- Establish tentative goals.
- Explore potential careers through informational interviews with professionals employed in your area(s) of interest.
- Develop relationships with academic advisors, faculty and key administrators. These people will potentially serve as references during your applications for scholarships, internships, graduate school and full-time career opportunities.
- Update your resume and your portfolio. It will be so much easier if you keep both of these up to date.
- Register with GoldPASS, for information on internships and full-time career opportunities.
- Get a job and/or do volunteer work in an area of your interest.
- Develop skills.
- Build a good work reputation.
- Get involved in community activities.
Third Year (61-90 credits)
- Explore your major by enrolling in several required courses.
- Choose upper division electives outside of your major to enhance your qualifications and complete degree requirements (consider minors).
- Research industries, companies and internships.
- Plan and implement an internship, field or clinical experience.
- Consider enrolling in CnEd 3535 Strategic Career Planning course, if you have not already done so, to explore your career options and learn how to present yourself effectively for an internship, job or graduate school.
- Check graduate school requirements including entrance test requirements and deadlines. Information is available from Career and Internship Services.
- Continue to maintain a strong GPA.
- Expand your own professional network through club activities, student chapters of professional organizations, family, faculty and staff. Inform people of the kind of opportunity you seek.
- Continue to interview professionals working in your field(s) of interest for information and to establish a network of contacts.
- Research graduate school possibilities, their application procedures and deadlines.
- Attend job fairs and/or Graduate and Professional School Fair.
- Prepare to take appropriate graduate school admissions tests.
- Attend workshops on resume writing, interviewing and other job search information.
- Update your resume and your portfolio.
- Update your registration with GoldPASS, and review internship and full-time career opportunities.
- Practice and refine your interviewing skills.
- If planning on attending graduate or professional school, check application and exam deadlines.
- Try out work or an internship in your chosen field.
- Continue to test career decisions.
- Compile inventory of interest and qualifications.
- Take appropriate graduate school admissions tests.
Fourth Year (90-120+ credits)
- Ask faculty and employers to be references for you.
- Complete course requirements for major field and graduation requirements.
- Participate in an internship, field or clinical experience.
- Consider enrolling in CnEd 3535 Strategic Career Planning, if you have not already done so.
- Begin your job or graduate school hunt early.
- Plan and conduct a thorough job search.
- Apply during fall semester to graduate or professional programs.
- Attend workshops on resume writing, interviewing and other job search information. Learn how to market yourself.
- Practice interviewing.
- Research businesses and/or organizations where you might like to work.
- Sign up for on-campus interviews.
- Discuss career opportunities with faculty and counselors.
- Continue networking, cultivating contacts and talking with professionals in your field of interest.
- Attend job fairs and/or Graduate Professional School Day.
- Update your resume and portfolio, and craft a cover letter.
- Meet with a career counselor for assistance with your job or graduate school search and for review of your resume, cover letter or personal statement.
- Send letters of application and inquiry to prospective employers.