We stress that career planning should be on the minds of college students from day one! One of our mantras at TheHBCUCareerCenter is that all students should start good career habits early. Therefore, the information gathered on these pages for students will help guide students through the personal career planning process. Only through honest self discovery will students ultimately be able to translate their values, interests, skills and abilities (V.I.S.A.) into meaningful career choices and lifelong sustainability.
The 5-Point Career Development Model (CDM) that is outlined below was designed to help students make good choices in the career planning process. Also, know that anyone else can use the information here.
The CDM we developed helps students to integrate personal Values, Interests, Skills and Abilities with their education. The five components in this model helps students make career decisions while in school and after graduation. The ability to master this practice will be important for emerging professionals to succeed in an evolving workplace.
After reading the information for each of the points below, explore related resources. It should be noted that since every person is different, the points do not necessarily need to be used in a sequential way. To start good habits early, college students should visit the Career Center on their own campuses early. This will allow them the opportunity to work with professional career advisors beginning in their freshman year.
In this step of the CDM, students are encouraged to explore their personal Values, Interests, Skills and Abilities. These are the factors that could influence the choice of college majors and ultimately future career choices. Students can use these Personal Exploration Links to find free or low cost career assessments. These career assessments should give any student enough information to start a serious discussion with the career center staff. Many of these career assessments are available for free in most career centers.
Once a student has done the personal exploration the next step is to expand awareness of careers and industries. To make good choices, students have to know what’s available, what’s changing and where industries are going. Connecting the personal exploration with knowledge of career and industry is how students will find clarity on what is possible. A significant part of exploring careers and industries is learning which job skills and competencies will be in demand by the time they graduate.
Students must take ownership of their own personal career image. Students and emerging professionals must understand how to become the kind of professional that the labor market needs. Resumes, communication skills, interviewing skills, social media presence, networking and personal image management are all critical elements to building a personal brand. Read our blog and connect on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter for current, relevant updates with career trend information. Doing this will help students learn more about how professional images are developed.
Once students have done some personal exploration, expanded their career and industry awareness and started to shape a desired professional image, they are ready to seek professional experiences. These experiences must be meaningful. Students can gain experience through internships, co-ops, field experiences, volunteer opportunities, full time careers and even study-abroad. Students should register with their campus career centers, academic departments and The HBCU Career Center job board to find opportunities.
The fifth component in our CDP addresses life after college. It includes the overall preparation for a successful career after graduation. Students must spend time during the college years to develop plans for the ultimate transition to life after college. This is a very good use of time. As a student, the goal is to master the skills to make a successful transition from college to careers and to succeed in that first year on the job. The HBCU Career Center is always updating the web resources here that will help with life after college.