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Help Your Student Succeed

What to Encourage Your Student to Do | Additional Resources

We understand you want to see your student succeed. Below are some steps you can take to help your student with their career planning.

What to Encourage Your Student to Do

1. Visit the CSU Career Center

The Career Center has valuable resources students should take advantage of throughout their four years at Colorado State University.

2. Meet with a Career Counselor

The Career Center Staff works very hard to provide the best services and resources for students and alumni to facilitate their academic and professional goals. Generalist Career Counselors serve students who have not yet determined a major.

Liaison counselors serve students in the following colleges:

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Business
  • Liberal Arts
  • Natural Resources
  • Natural Sciences
  • Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science
  • Health and Human Sciences

They specialize in career issues, job search methods, and employment trends relevant to their College programs. Click here for details about how to make an appointment.

3. Develop Self-Awareness

Encourage your student to start developing a greater understanding of their work-related values, interests, personality type, and skills early on in their college career. Without this knowledge, it will be very difficult to decide on a major and career path. Don't wait until senior year to do this! The following are resources provided by the Career Center and others to help your student achieve this step:

  • Career Counseling Services - The Career Center Staff works very hard to bring you the best services and resources to facilitate your academic and professional goals. All of these services are free for current students and alumni within the first year following graduation. Click here for details about how to make an appointment.
  • Career Center Assessments - Discover the "person-environment" fit that best meets your needs through a variety of career assessment inventories. Through an initial intake with a career counselor, it may be determined that a career assessment instrument may help to identify interests, skills, values and personality attributes.

4. Increase Knowledge about Careers

Encourage your student to gather information about possible career/major options. This includes learning more about work tasks and environment, salary ranges, educational requirements, job outlook, and related occupations. The following is a list of some of those resources your student might consider utilizing:

  • CSU Career Center Counselors and Liaisons - A summary of services can be found here.
  • Academic and Career Horizons - Colorado State University's Center for Advising and Student Achievement (CASA) provides you with an overview of each of the department majors including concentrations, characteristics and skills of students, potential occupations, related student organizations, and additional information sources.
  • Occupational Information - Use these quick and easy online career information tools to gather information about a variety of occupations and help you begin your career decision-making process.

5. Identify Career Options

Encourage your student to develop a list of possible career options to further explore and develop. They should try to identify at least 3 or 4. The following are campus resources you might utilize to help you with this process:

  • CSU Career Center Counselors and Liaisons - A summary of services can be found here.
  • University Key Advisers - Once your student has narrowed their choices and is ready to explore specific majors/careers in greater depth, encourage them to contact the appropriate Key Adviser. Key advisers are academic department faculty or professional advisers who can address every academic and career aspect of a given major. Every major is assigned a key adviser to advise exploring students.
  • Academic Connections - This site will serve to get your student in touch with people in their major or any other major that may interest them. Graduates and upperclassmen will answer any questions they might have from the perspective of those that have already done what they are going through, or give them extra information that will help them decide whether or not their major would be good for them.

6. "Test-Drive" Options

One of the best ways to help your student make a decision about a career field is to encourage them to gain hands-on career experience through internships, summer/part-time jobs, volunteering, job shadowing, informational interviewing, participating in student groups/organizations, and attending career fairs. Click on the following experiential learning methods to learn more about them.

7. Create an "Action Plan"

Using the information your student has gathered, encourage them to develop a step-by-step plan to reach their selected goal. We encourage students to contact the Career Center to assist them with this step.

8. Prepare for the Job Search

For most of us, finding a job is hard work. At the Career Center, trained career counselors work with students on an individual basis to assess the needs and resources necessary for students to be successful in their job search. Aspects of the job search we can help them prepare for include resumes, cover letters, interviewing, salary negotiation, workshops and more!

9. Participate in Career Center Sponsored Events

The Career Center sponsors several annual career fairs as well as other events, such as resume critiques, on-campus interviews, employer information sessions, and career development workshops. These events are an excellent way for your student to connect with employers and further develop their job search skills.

10. Get Involved in Student Groups/Organizations

Student groups and organizations are not only a great way to meet other CSU students, but they are also often a great way to connect with professionals in the field.

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Additional Resources

NACE Salary Survey

Nace Salary Survey, Fall 2011

Salary and Labor Market Information

  • Occupational Information - This is a Career Center page containing various occupational and salary-related information.
  • Colorado Labor Market Information - Find local and national information on average wages, training programs, occupations in demand, job postings, and much more.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook - Here is a searchable guide created by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics that provides data on more than two hundred occupations. Information on each occupation includes: earning potential, education and training requirements, and employment outlook.
  • America's Career InfoNet - Part of the America's Job Bank network, this is a tremendous source of information on hundreds of occupations and can help identify transferable skills used by many occupations, what industries employ persons in these occupations, and what compensation to expect.

Experiential Learning

  • CareerRAM - Searching for an internship, part-time job or full-time position related to a major can be daunting. CareerRAM is where your student can find these opportunities sent from employers. CareerRAM connects students and alumni with employers through online job and internship postings, on-campus interviews, career events, and more.
  • Internship Resources - Internships, co-ops, and volunteer work related to a certain major are all a part of experiential learning. NACE's 2010 student survey showed that 42.3% of seniors who had internship experience and applied for a job received at least one job offer. Conversely, only 30.7% of seniors without internship experience who applied for a job received an offer.
  • Office of International Programs - Gaining experience happens in many different ways. Studying, interning or working abroad, the Office of International Programs (OIP) can be a resource for students looking for international experience. Also see our working/studying abroad page.
  • Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLiCE) - Leadership is an attribute that many employers and graduate schools value and look for in their applicants. How does your student gain that experience? Visit the SLiCE page to find out more about leadership programs offered on campus.
  • Student Groups/Organizations - With over 350 student organizations on campus there MUST be something your student could get involved with. From social clubs (swing dancing?), political views (Democrats, Libertarians, Republicans) to sport clubs and team (skiing, rodeo and logging) there's something here for everyone.

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