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Career Planning: Choose Your Path

Academic Research Resources

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Undecided statistics that demonstrate that incoming students are not alone and change majors often

The Stigma of 'Undecided'

When you say you are 'undecided', it is often seen as a negative. You get characterized as being lazy, non-committal and unmotivated. However, being undecided is really an opportunity. You have the chance to learn about yourself, discover your passions, explore a variety of professions and positions that you may have never even considered or even heard of! The key is to take advantage of that exploratory period and use reliable and meaningful resources to arrive at one of the most important decisions of your life - what kind of training and education do you want to pursue and how will that lead to an occupation where you will find personal satisfaction and happiness. 

Tips for Transitioning from 'Undecided' to 'Decided

Learn About Yourself

As Module One of this InfoGuide promotes, taking self-assessments to better understand your interests, values, skills and aptitudes is the first step to determining what you may want to pursue. This foundation information provides you with signals and topics for exploration. For example, if your interests indicate that you would prefer to work outside versus inside, you can focus your exploration on professions that give you the opportunity to be out in nature, to work with animals or plants or a trade that requires outside tasks. The key is to use the information from those self-assessments to aim you in the right direction for further research. 

Learn About Careers/Professions

There are hundreds of thousands of careers and that number shifts and changes everyday. Some jobs become obsolete and new professions are created daily. Our world is shifting with technology, business decisions and our economy. Researching careers can help you not only learn about a field, but also the many options that field offers. For example, if you want to be a nurse, great! But what kind of nurse. If you do a search on MyNextMove for 'Nurse', there are 11 types of professions with Nurse in the title and 9 related professions listed! You may not even know what some of those professions are, but researching them and learning more about them can open doors and possibilities you never considered previously. 

Learn About Employers

Let's stick with the Nurse example. When you think nurse, you likely think 'hospital'. But did you think of school nurse? How about a traveling nurse? A corporate nurse? A tele-doc nurse? Nurses work in hospitals, home care or residential facilities, cruise ships, the military, and companies that provide on-site health care for workers. It is worth investigating the variety of employers for a profession because it may be of more interest for you to work with one company versus another. It is equally important to research employers of the same type. For example, working as a nurse at hospital 'A' may be a very different work environment, salary and benefits package than working at hospital 'B', even in the same city!

Learn About Majors

A major is a specific subject area that students specialize in. Typically, between one-third and one-half of the courses you’ll take in college will be in your major or related to it. You may not be aware of the types of classes involved in a degree or major. You may not be aware of what major is required to earn the credential to enter a profession.  The College Board has a site called Big Future that provides you with descriptions of various majors. You can also explore multiple sites that can answer the question, "What Can I Do With A Major In..?' on the Exploring Majors tab at the top of this box. 

Learn About Educational Institutions

You want to make a smart selection for the educational institution you choose to attend. You will want to base your decision on more than just where your friends or family are going or have attended or your favorite sports team. 

Here are some aspects to consider:

  • Cost
  • Size
  • Location
  • Distance from home
  • Available majors and classes
  • Housing options
  • Makeup of the student body
  • Available extracurricular activities
  • Campus atmosphere

 These all play a part in making the best 'fit' choice for your educational investment - you are investing both time and money. You can also explore resources that can help you learn more about potential institutions on the Researching Institutions tab at the top of this box. 

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Explore Majors and How They Align With Careers

These sites can help you follow the path from basic level training and education through graduate and post graduate education. Other sites will help you explore the career or occupation that aligns with a major. This is especially important to understand because if you pursue the wrong degree, you are not properly preparing yourself to gain employment in a field. Here is an example 

You like crime shows and decide you want to become a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI). In the tv.shows you always see them working with police, so you think that the right degree to pursue to become a CSI is Criminal Justice. On the surface, that logic makes sense. However, it is inaccurate. CSIs are scientists. They won't take courses like Delinquency or law courses. They will take Calculus, Physics and Biology. The correct degree to pursue if you want to become a CSI is Forensic Science. These are very different paths leading to very different careers. It is essential, when doing your research, that you confirm that the major you select is the correct path leading to your desired profession. 

DSC Career Pathways Guide

DSC Career Services - Career Exploration - Majors 

How to Match Your Career Choice with a College Degree 

University of California - Berkeley - What Can I Do With A Major In...?

University of North Carolina - Charlotte - WHAT CAN I DO WITH A MAJOR IN? (WCIDWAMI)

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The College Blue Books are great references when you want to learn more about colleges and universities as you research your options. They are reference books, so they do not leave the library, but the DSC Library does have them on both Daytona and DeLand campuses. If you need help with researching, you can always work with our friendly librarians to assist you with specifics. 

They are guides to thousands of 2-and 4-year schools in the U.S. and Canada. They cover detailed descriptions, degree programs offered, scholarships, and occupational education programs. Features include details about educational facilities, tuition, room and board, enrollment figures, and even library holdings! There are several volumes. They include:

  • Volumes 1-2 (Narrative Descriptions and Tabular Data) provide information on more than 4,100 institutions of higher education, in both the United States and Canada, including universities, senior colleges, two-year colleges, and specialized institutions. information is provided in both easy to-read prose descriptions and as condensed tabular data. These volumes include information on early decision and early action figures, ACT and SAT essay requirements, SAT deadlines and and numbers on wait-listed applicants.
  • Volume 3: (Degrees Offered By College and Subject) provides a listing of all the degrees offered by the institutions listed in volumes 1 and 2, indexed first by colleges/universities, and additionally by subject area.
  • Volume 4 (Occupational Education) lists nearly 6,400 schools in the United States and Canada that provide occupational training, offering such information as cost of tuition, recent enrollment, number of faculty, and curricula.
  • Volume 5: (Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants & Loans) provides an extensive listing of more than 6,000 financial aid sources, and includes valuable information such as scholarship purpose, amount, application procedures, and deadline.
  • Volume 6: (Distance Learning) provides key facts and overviews of nearly 1,000 institutions offering distance learning programs.

Florida Shines-Search Institutional Profiles

This website provides a great tool to research information about Florida institutions. It provides information similar to the Tabular Data of the Blue Books, but is Florida specific (not national). You can find specific information about these details:

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Degree Pathway

Every career requires a unique degree or training to prepare and meet qualifications for employment. The graphic below explains the different levels of education you can achieve and that may be required for you to complete to pursue a particular profession.  

Need Further Assistance Selecting a Major?

Daytona State College Academic Advising Department

Daytona State College Career Services 

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What is Entrepreneurship?

An entrepreneur is someone who has an idea and who works to create a product or service that people will buy, as well as an organization to support that effort. An entrepreneur takes on most of the risk and initiative for their new business, and is often seen as a visionary or innovator. Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, including small business owners, content creators, startup founders, and anyone who has the ambition to build a business and work for themselves.

Common traits for entrepreneurs

  • Enjoy freedom and flexibility
  • Are inventive
  • Are goal orientated and ambitious
  • Think creatively
  • Are fearless
  • Problem solvers
  • High self initiative
  • Understand basic finance principles

Source: Shopify

Resources To Learn More About Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneur: What It Means to Be One and How to Get Started 

What is entrepreneurship? Stanford Online

What is Entrepreneurship? Center for American Entrepreneurship

U.S. Small Business Administration

Why Are Certain Course Required For A Major?

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Foundation Courses

Every college has slightly different requirements for their degrees, but all schools establish general curriculum requirements designed to help students gain basic skills. Even a math major needs basic English and writing skills to get his point across, and English majors benefit from basic computational skills and the ability to understand scientific research. Schools often require students to take introductory-level classes in English, writing, math, science, philosophy and social sciences to give them a foundation of academic skills and knowledge that will be useful throughout their academic career as well as in any career path a student chooses. A core curriculum means that every student graduating from a particular school has the same basic skills to round out her education and understanding.Use the tabs at the top of this box to learn a bit more about the skills you will learn in some required courses and how they apply to various majors and careers

Career Skills

Students don't always pursue careers in their majors, but a bachelor's degree serves as evidence that a graduate has taken the basic classes they need to succeed in a wide variety of fields. Almost every career that requires a college degree demands basic writing and communication skills, the ability to think critically and general cultural awareness. Many careers also demand civic or historical knowledge, basic math skills and awareness of the social sciences.

Required Course

Why This Course?

SLS 1122 – Managing Your Success

This course is designed to prepare students for college courses and professional settings. Students are introduced to college resources, academic expectations, career/academic planning, study skills, time/money management, interpersonal skills, and basic technology skills.

Being prepared for academic and professional settings is necessary for all careers:

Accountant/Business Owners – When working with customers and/or clients, professionalism, and proper demeanor is what will gain their trust and respect.

Educators – As a teacher you must maintain a professional identity, be organized and manage your time wisely to be as resourceful as you can be for your students.

Scientists – Although scientists are usually in labs and may or may not interact with others as much as other professions, you are still required to meet deadlines and be organized in order to meet the requirements of your position as a professional.

Legal Professionals – As someone who works with clients and represents them, you must maintain a professional demeanor and be punctual in order to gain the clients' trust.

Medical Professionals – You must always maintain a professional relationship with patients and be able to see a certain number of patients as scheduled without running behind. 

Mechanics – As someone who provides a service that requires problem solving you must maintain professionalism and be able to provide the appropriate service in a timely manner.

Architects/Engineers – Completing designs and projects in a timely manner is crucial and maintaining professionalism to sell or market your design is key to being successful in this field.

Chefs – Delivering food in a timely manner with good presentation is always appreciated by customers. Customers always appreciate chefs who provide service with professionalism.

Information Technology – Providing solutions in a timely manner is key in this field because Technology is something that is needed for things to operate smoothly, therefore prompt solutions are necessary.

Liberal Arts A successful artist will always have respect for their public presentation and professionalism from their audience.


Required Course

Why This Course?

ENC 1101 – Introduction to Composition

This course is designed to promote critical thinking and reading skills that encourage a higher level of comprehension and analysis while writing.

Critical thinking and reading skills are necessary for many different careers including:

Accountant/Business Owners – Analyze profits, financial statements and think critically about potential risks.

Educators – Think critically about how to develop effective lesson plans for each student and their needs. Analyze how effective their assignments for student learning. 

Scientists – Think critically and analyze through problem-based learning when conducting experiments.

Legal Professionals – Think critically and analyze evidence and legal documents.

Medical Professionals – Think critically and analyze potential patient diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatment.

Mechanics – Analyzing potential mechanical defects and thinking about appropriate solutions for repair.

Architects/Engineers – Think critically about appropriate designs and analyzing strengths and weaknesses.

Chefs – Think critically on the spot for best alternatives in their kitchen when they face a problem.

Information Technology – Assess and analyze technological problems and think critically about the solutions and repair needed.

Liberal Arts As an artist you learn to delve into the whats, whys, and hows of the world rather than taking everything presented to you at face value.


Required Course

Why This Course?

SPC 2608 – Oral Communication

This course helps develop the general education outcomes of critical/creative thinking, communication, cultural literacy, and information and technical literacy.

It is important to have appropriate oral communication skills for various careers including:

Accountant/Business Owners – In the business field, it is important learn to communicate in various ways that will attract customers and clients to gain their trust, whether it is marketing or just communicating information about financial information.

Educators – As teachers, communication is a crucial part of a student's experience in the class. This includes communication a lesson plan, deadlines, or goals. Being more interactive and enthusiastic can help attract students' attention more.

Scientists – Scientists are mostly communicating factual information based on research. This is still a form of communication and it requires you to share information in a convincing and effective manner.

Legal Professionals – Legal professionals have various way they will need to communicate. They will need to communicate professionally with their clients, and they will be required to be more persuasive if they are in court.

Medical Professionals – Communication medical information to patients does not come naturally. It requires controlling emotions and choosing the correct words to convey medical information to patients in a way that they can understand. 

Mechanics – Being able to communicate solution for a mechanical customer in way that they understand is important for customer satisfaction.

Architects/Engineers – Being able to communicate and present designs and plans to a target audience is crucial to be successful in this field. It requires you to be able to use persuasive techniques when communicating.

Chefs – The way an item on a menu is presented to customers can really influence their decision about what they want to eat, whether it is verbal or something that is written on a menu.

Information Technology – IT fields require communication that must be both professional and instructional. Sometimes you may need to instruct students or other employees on how to troubleshoot and fix technology problems.

Liberal Arts Artists may host exhibitions or may be interviewed about their work. In this situation they are required to present their work and this may be in the form of persuasion, informative, or simply evaluative (to leave it open to audience interpretation).


Required Course

Why This Course?

ENC 1102 – Writing with Research

This course is designed to promote critical thinking and reading skills with research, synthesis, and argument.

Using research to think critically and make sound decisions and arguments is necessary for many careers including:

Accountant/Business Owners – Making claims and decisions using valid evidence and reasoning is important for businesses to gain trust from their clients.

Educators – Teachers must be able to educate students with accuracy and be able to answer students' questions with accurate information.

Scientists – Any findings that scientists come up with must be a result of multiple studies in order for it to be considered valid.

Legal Professionals – Legal professionals are required to research and learn appropriate laws that are relevant to make claims that can win a case.

Medical Professionals – Doctors and nurses must be able to give the reason behind each diagnosis, which is something they attain by staying up to date with current medial knowledge.

Chefs – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems

Mechanics – Mechanics must stay up to date with the most recent models to troubleshoot problems and communicate appropriate solutions to customers.

Architects/Engineers –Architects must go through a process of analyzing their designs/ inventions, synthesizing its benefits and drawbacks to evaluate and communicate its worth.

Information Technology – Staying up to date with new software and technology and being able to synthesize and evaluate the problem is important to troubleshoot and communicate a solution to clients.

Liberal Arts Art represents a significant period of time and/or portrays a significant message to its audience. This requires artists to think critically when creating or composing their work to get a particular message across to their audience.


Academic and Career Research Activity