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Steps to Planning a Career or Major
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(The "MyCareerPath" model at Pima Community College)

Click on each of the tabs below to read more about planning a career or major.

A text-only version of this page is also available.

Steps to Success
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PCC has created MyCareerPath to assist students at multiple stages in their career development. The five steps listed below are aimed at addressing different career development needs and goals.

Some students may need to begin with Step 1: Career Self Assessments to learn more about themselves and their fit for various programs of study or occupations. Other students may begin at Step 5: Job Seeking Skills with a focus on learning or enhancing their job preparedness. MyCareerPath can help you:

  • understand your personal interests, abilities, values and skills
  • understand various occupations and current job market trends
  • better understand yourself and the world of work so that you can make more meaningful career choices
  • declare your major and identify the program and courses you'll take
  • explore and develop the skills and tools you'll need to transition from college to career

Utilize MyCareerPath to pursue your career goals.

Start clicking the tabs below to examine these steps in more detail. You also can read more about MyCareerPath on the PCC website.

Step 1: Career Self Assessments
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In order to effectively explore appropriate occupations, start with interest and skills assessments. They help you discover more about yourself—the things you enjoy and your areas of strength—then match you with occupations.

These assessments can help you identify the abilities, interests, skills, values and personality traits that are unique to you. Based on your results, the assessments identify a career or occupational area that may prove a good match for you.

Go to the Career Resources page of the PCC website. There you'll find links to MyCareerPath, as well as the Arizona Career Information System (AZCIS). AZCIS is an important tool available to you that can help you identify your skills and interests. With this database, you can research occupational titles, job descriptions, educational requirements, salary and employment outlook.

PCC also offers free, non-credit Student Success workshops on a variety of topics including Career Exploration, Choosing a Major/Career, and Researching your Career Options. Call or visit a Student Services Center for more information.

Step 2: Career Exploration
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Once you identify possible careers, research each career or occupational area to find ones that best meet your personality and interests.

Gather information about the nature of the work, working conditions, employment outlook, degree requirements and salary. You also may learn more through experiential education opportunities, such as job shadowing or informational interviewing, as well as through PCC's Student Success classes:

  • STU 109 Career Exploration
  • STU 109A Making Career Choices: Interests and Values

Go to the Arizona Career Information System (AZCIS). Explore various links for more information.

On your own you may find many resources to explore careers and majors. Use your research to begin to focus on a specific career or occupational area that you want to pursue. If you need more help as you go through the process, contact a Student Services Center to make an appointment with a counselor.

Step 3: PCC Resources
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Many careers require you to get an education that culminates in earning a certificate or an associate degree from a community college or a bachelor's degree from a college or university. You should investigate how PCC fits into your career journey.

Go to the Programs page of the PCC website to identify the program(s) of interest to you.

Based on the career you chose in Step 2, you will be able to choose the appropriate PCC program and the classes to complete it. At this point, your MyCareerPath may take one of two directions:

  1. Occupational: Earn a Certificate or Associate Degree for direct employment in your career field. Start by researching your chosen career through the resources on the Career Planning channel at MyPima; to prepare for your career, learn more about Job Seeking Skills (Step 5)
  2. University Transfer: Earn an associate degree for transfer to a college or university to earn a bachelor's degree or higher. Start by learning more about University Transfer (Step 4)
Step 4: University Transfer
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Many students need a bachelor's degree to meet their career goals. PCC offers extensive resources, including counseling and Student Success classes or workshops, to help you transition smoothly to a university. To learn more about university transitions and transfer, you may take

  • STU 107: Pre-Transfer Success Skills, or
  • STU 210: Transfer Strategies.

Representatives from the University of Arizona and PCC work together to create a smooth transition for you, if UofA is your transfer choice.

PCC also has partnered with many other colleges and universities to provide you with transfer opportunities. To learn more about university transfer, go to the PCC Transfer webpage.

You also can use these important links for university transfer resources:

Contact a Student Services Center if you have questions regarding using these resources.

Step 5: Job Seeking Skills
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When you are about to complete your degree, are ready to look for work, or are actively seeking employment, it is time to develop the tools and skills that will help you find employment.

Examples of tools you should develop for your job search are a résumé, cover letter and/or a portfolio.

You may improve your interview techniques and prepare for an interview in many ways. Counselors at each PCC campus can help you with interviewing techniques. Make an appointment at a Student Services Center. Online resources are available to help you prepare for and practice interviewing, too.

PCC also offers credit Student Success classes and noncredit Student Success workshops on topics including résumé and cover letter preparation. For more information, contact any campus Student Services Center.

Using AZCIS, consider these tools:

  • Click on the Job Search link and then look under the Clusters link
  • Develop a job search plan
  • Develop a career portfolio
If You Have Questions
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If you have other questions - just ask! You can meet with a PCC counselor or contact PCC counselors by phone or email.



Return to Student Success @ Pima