Support Your Student's Career Development

There are many ways in which parents can help students progress through the career decision-making process. Here are some ways you can support your student's career development:

  • Encourage your son or daughter to visit the Career Center early in his/her college career to learn about available resources. However, please be aware that, if a student chooses not to use the Career Center, it will not be forced upon him/her. "Readiness" comes for different students at different times, and a student who is not ready to consider career options may not be receptive to guidance.
  • Support your student's exploration of major & career and be patient while your student considers a variety of options, even though he/she may not be considering a career field paralleling parental expectations. Your son or daughter has to find a career field matching his/her interests, skills, values and talents in order to be challenged and satisfied in life and work. Remember that choosing a major is not always the same as choosing a career or occupation.
  • Introduce your son or daughter to people in professional fields who can provide career information and advice. These networking contacts may open doors to many future opportunities.
  • Assist your student in identifying strengths, achievements, and areas for development. The ability to effectively communicate knowledge, skills and abilities is crucial to success, and this is sometimes difficult for students to do.
  • Support and encourage involvement in leadership and student organization activities, both on and off campus. Employers place high value on leadership, teamwork and organizational skills, and campus involvement provides an opportunity to develop these.
  • Emphasize the importance of gaining career-related experience through internships, co-op, volunteering, summer, and/or part-time jobs. This experience may help your student to confirm his/her choice of occupation or career. This is also important because most employers prefer to hire students with related experience.