Major and Career Exploration
Learn about major and career paths and explore your values, interests, personality, and skills. Find information about potential fields.
This web resource offers an overview of academic majors with descriptions of related career fields for each major. In addition, each major includes links to websites that will help you research that field of study. While the list includes majors that are not offered at Lewis & Clark, it is easy to find majors that relate to each academic field.
For assistance in creating a connection between your major at Lewis & Clark and your career goals, please schedule an appointment with career advisor. Pursuing a liberal arts education will help to prepare you for any career field, even if the major you declare varies from your intended vocational path.
Lewis & Clark’s academic departments and programs offer a constellation of opportunities for students, and foster lifelong learning and the passion to continuously acquire and synthesize knowledge.
Visit the academics page to explore departments and learn more about the variety of occupational opportunities available to you with a Lewis & Clark College education.
Need help?Schedule an appointment with a career counselor.
Most people spend more time planning their summer vacation than they do thinking about their career. Studies show that the average working American will have three to five careers and between 10 to 12 jobs during their lifespan. In other words, you will probably try on a couple of different majors and several careers. Each experience will provide you with new insights and information which will help refine the next decision. You do need to start somewhere though. The resources listed below are just a starting place; talk to your career counselor about additional resources.
Major Career Interest Areas
Maintained by the Department of Labor, this site allows you to find jobs that fit your interests, skills and experience; explore career profiles from the latest labor market data; search for occupations that use your skills; and view specific details about occupations and identify related occupations.
The OOH, from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, gives you detailed information on 250 occupations. Each listing addresses the employment outlook, job duties, earnings, working conditions, training, education, qualifications and career advancement.
Comprehensive information on health careers including articles, salary information, FAQs, health care issues, student and practitioner profiles and more.
Additional information on major areas of employment in public health, career paths, specializations, employment and salary data. PublicHealth.org
A career exploration and inspirational web site where experienced workers share their motivations, basic skills and advice with those just entering the career field. The profiles are of real people and the work covers a wide variety of jobs.
Buzzfile is a comprehensive Business Information Database and LIST Builder. Buzzfile’s interactive screening engine and smart filters empower users to search through 18 million U.S. businesses and compile highly targeted prospect lists.
LearnHowToBecome provides detailed insight into and “how to” guides for 45 career fields, including teaching, mental health, medical careers, financial advising, computer programming and engineering.
Career Information. Originally developed for California job changers, this site includes articles on career information, links to resources, and lists of books to look for in your local public library.
The Lewis & Clark College Career Network (L&C Net) is a network of 1000+ alumni and parents who have volunteered to act as career “experts” to L&C students and alumni in transition. Hosted as a group on LinkedIn, alumni volunteers live in locations throughout the United States and abroad, and represent a cross-section of industries and professional careers.
Another way to connect with alumni is the Alumni Career Corps (ACC). Twice a month alumni are available for one-on-one sessions during which they will assist students with practical career advice as well as offer a range of career perspectives. There are a large number of L&C alums who want to be supportive too. Talk with your career counselor about getting your PioLink and LinkedIn accounts active.
Career Assessment Tools
There are many ways to identify occupations that fit your personal profile: reading about them, researching them on the internet, talking with professionals in the field, and attending campus career presentations.
Assessment tools can often be used to help you find out more about yourself and as a way of narrowing occupational interests into manageable research categories. In the Career Center we use StrengthsQuest, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Strong Interest Inventory. Here is a bit of information on these three tools:
One of the tools available to students to conduct valuable self-assessment is Gallup’s StrengthsQuest. StrengthsQuest is comprised of 34 themes. These themes emerged in Gallup’s study of successful people over decades of research. Each theme contains several talents. These talents are natural, recurring patterns of thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. The talents found in your Signature Themes are things you do naturally — like breathing. You actually do them without even trying. You can read more about StrengthsQuest here.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The MBTI is a tool for identifying and understanding your own preferences and discovering how they apply to a career decision. The MBTI will also help identify your strengths and unique gifts. You can use the information to understand yourself, your motivations, your strengths, and potential areas of growth better.
Strong Interest Inventory
The Strong Interest Inventory (SII) is based on the idea that individuals are more satisfied and productive when they work in jobs or at tasks that they find interesting and when they work with people whose interests are similar to their own.
The SII contains 317 items that measure your interests in a wide range of occupations, occupational activities, hobbies, leisure activities, and types of people.
Your interests are compared to thousands of individuals who report being happy and successful in their jobs.
These assessments are taken online and you will be given access to the website information through an appointment with a career counselor. An individual appointment must be scheduled to review assessment results. Assessments are $25 for current students and $50 for alumni.
An important next step in testing out a possible career choice is through informational interviewing. By fully trying on a career idea you will want to secure a career-related internship or work experience. To make sure you have the most accurate picture of a career and/or occupation, it’s best to use multiple methods to gather information.
Career Interest Areas
Advertising and Public Relations
The purpose of advertising is to communicate the benefits of a product or service, that is, to make it known to the general public, or to a specific section of the public. Advertising involves using creativity to develop new ad campaigns and materials through radio and TV commercials, magazine spreads, the internet, outdoor signs, etc. Public Relations involves writing press releases, organizing news conferences and producing company newsletters. It also entails public speaking, being interviewed on radio/TV, attending conferences, exhibitions and trade shows, arranging press launches, and acting as the client’s spokesperson.
This industry includes establishments ranging from art museums to fitness centers and encompasses practically any activity that occupies a person’s leisure time. The diverse range of activities offered by this industry can be categorized into live performances or events; historical, cultural, or educational exhibits; and recreation or relaxation-time activities. Job titles in this field include performer, set designer, museum curator, disc jockey, golf instructor, professional athlete, and masseuse.
The business services industry is exactly as it sounds: companies providing business-related services to fellow companies. Companies in this industry offer a variety of services, including marketing and advertising, consulting, legal services, logistics and shipping, human resources and staffing, leasing, security, outsourcing, and facility management.
Computer Science/Information Technology
The work of computer science involves designing and building software, developing effective ways to solve computing problems and devising new and better ways of using computers. IT is primarily involved in the context of a business and is often used to automate manual tasks as well as improve efficiencies within an organization.
Education/training is about helping others reach their potential through the transfer of knowledge. Professionals must conduct an assessment of the abilities of their students, develop curricula, teach to appeal to a variety of learning styles, evaluate students periodically to determine their progress, maintain discipline and supervise activities. Job titles range from elementary school teacher, special education teacher, and principal to professor, coach, counselor and vice-president for student affairs.
Engineering uses the knowledge of mathematics and natural sciences to create and enhance technologies that benefit humanity. For example, engineering technologists and technicians help make the buildings, computers, electrical appliances, power plants, transportation systems, prosthetic devices, and movie special effects we rely upon and enjoy.
The finance industry encompasses a broad range of organizations that deal with the management of money. Among these organizations are banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, consumer finance companies, stock brokerages, investment funds and some government sponsored enterprises.
The government sector consists of federal, state, and local employers. Professionals in these careers often must tackle very challenging problems such as managing global climate change, redeveloping older urban areas that have lost their economic base, transitioning recently incarcerated persons back into society, providing quality education and healthcare to children living in poverty, and improving responses to natural disasters. The government offers many diverse career options including jobs in areas such as law enforcement, health, education, natural resources, and much more.
Combining medical technology and the human touch, the health care industry administers care around the clock, responding to the needs of people. This field is responsible for the treatment and management of illness, and the preservation of health through services offered by the medical, pharmaceutical, dental, clinical laboratory sciences, nursing, and allied health professions. Work settings vary from hospitals, residential facilities and universities to personal homes, ambulances and laboratories.
Hospitality refers to the practice of making someone comfortable. This industry revolves around three main sectors: 1) accommodation which includes hotels, motels, resorts and sanatoriums; 2). bars and clubs which represents nightclubs, public houses and restaurants and 3) travel & tourism which encompasses travel agencies, airlines, and travel technology companies. Very closely linked is the event planning or meeting management field which is responsible for establishing a site, making travel and hotel arrangements, negotiating with food vendors, overseeing registration and coordinating activities for an individual client or organization hosting a meeting, conference or special event.
Human Resources may be the most misunderstood of all corporate departments, but it’s also the most necessary. Organizations can’t run without people after all. Those who work in Human Resources are not only responsible for hiring and firing, they also provide orientation and ongoing training, administer employee benefits, maintain personnel records, mediate problems between employees and more.
In short, investment banking is a field of banking that aids companies in acquiring funds. Institutions can generate monies through the capital market by selling stock in their company or by seeking out venture capital or private equity in exchange for a stake in their company. An investment banking firm also does a large amount of consulting, giving companies advice on mergers and acquisitions, for example. They also track the market in order to give advice on when to make public offerings and how best to manage the business’ public assets.
The law profession is central in the life of a democratic country. Legal services professionals may deal with major courtroom cases or minor traffic disputes, complex corporate mergers or straightforward real estate transactions. Lawyers may work for giant industries, small businesses, government agencies, international organizations, public interest groups, legal aid offices, and universities—or they may work for themselves. They represent both the impoverished and the wealthy, the helpless and the powerful.
Want to be the boss? Administration involves the coordination of human, material, and financial resources to accomplish organizational goals. On a daily basis those in management or administration do the following: budget, organize, plan, hire, direct, control, and otherwise oversee various organizational functions.
Marketing activities and strategies result in making products available that satisfy customers while making profits for the companies that offer those products or services. Marketing activities are numerous and varied because they basically include everything needed to get a product off the drawing board and into the hands of the customer. Marketing practice tends to be seen as a creative industry, which includes designing, promoting, setting a price, distributing and selling goods, services or ideas. It is also concerned with anticipating the customers’ future needs and wants through market research.
Need help?Schedule an appointment with a career counselor.
Communication is an art. A job in the media could mean working in broadcast and print journalism, film, photography, animation, media relations, advertising, design or computer gaming. Closely related is publishing which is about preparing and issuing content for public sale. Publishing has traditionally been associated with printed materials such as books, magazines, and newspapers, but has expanded to other formats such as multimedia and websites.
The diverse list of non-profit organizations will probably surprise you. According to Idealist, this industry includes private institutions like Harvard University, international relief organizations like Doctors Without Borders, religious institutions, and membership groups like the American Bar Association and the National Rifle Association. The common thread is a desire to make a difference or support a cause. The job titles in the nonprofit sector are as wide-ranging as the organizations that comprise it. There is a place for individuals of all interests and skill sets — from salespeople, researchers, and computer technicians to teachers, writers, and accountants.
Science/Research and Development
From carbon nanotubes to vaccines, workers in the scientific research and development services industry create today the technologies that will change the way people live and work in the future. Basic research is conducted to satiate intellectual curiosity; whereas applied research is the bridge between science and practice. It is directed toward solving some general problem. Development then refines the technologies or processes of applied research into immediately usable products.
The mission of social services organizations is to serve, aid, and protect needy and vulnerable children and adults in ways that strengthen and preserve families, encourage personal responsibility, and foster independence. Many social services agencies are government funded and help clients who face a disability, a life-threatening disease or a social problem, such as inadequate housing, unemployment, or substance abuse.