- Step 1
- Step 2
- Step 3
- Step 4
Step 1. Understanding Self
Understanding self by identifying your interests, personality, skills and values through career assessments.
The first step to the career decision making and a development model is to learn more about yourself. Complete the following four sections to learn about career decisions that are consistent with your interests, personality, skills and values. To get started, select one of the career assessment areas below.
Combined assessments help you to explore interests, personality, skills and values.
FOCUS 2 is an online, interactive, self-guided career and education planning system that can help you:
- Select a major based on your interests and aspirations.
- Discover occupations matching your personal preferences and attributes.
- Map out your career plans, present and future.
- Make informed career decisions.
Get Started: View/Print Setting Up Your FOCUS 2 Account Handout
Access code: NOVA
VCCS student email account required to create an account.
Click on the FOCUS 2 link to access the system.
Interest assessments help you to explore what you like and what you dislike.
Select an assessment below to explore your interests:
- R.I.A.S.E.C. O*NET Interest Profiler
- R.I.A.S.E.C. Minnesota MN Interest Assessment
- Virginia Education Wizard Interest Assessment
Career information by Interests:
- R.I.A.S.E.C. Master Occupations List
- R.I.A.S.E.C. Code Job Description Search Tool
- R.I.A.S.E.C. Code Occupations Search Tool
- Interest Themes (George Mason University)
- R.I.A.S.E.C. Guide to Holland Codes
- Career Clusters Descriptions
- Career Clusters Information
Personality assessments help you to explore who you are as a person.
Select an assessment below to explore your personality:
- Jung Typology Test (based on MBTI)
- Keirsey Temperament Sorter II (based on MBTI)
- TypeFocus Assessment (based on MBTI)
Career information by Personality Type:
Skills assessments help you to explore what you are good at and your talents.
Select an assessment below to explore your skills:
Values assessments help you to explore what matters to you.
Select an assessment below to explore your values:
Assessments for Purchase at Each Campus Counseling/Career Center:
(Please contact a career counselor directly to receive authorization for one of these assessments for purchase; these assessments are highly recommended.)
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (M.B.T.I.) a personality inventory with a wide range of applicability including career decision making, learning, stress, relationships, communication, etc.
- Strong Interest Inventory a career assessment instrument based on work related to interests and occupational information.
Step 2. Exploring Careers
Exploring careers by researching information on academic majors, job salaries, outlook, required skills, educational requirements and typical work duties.
The next step in the career decision making and development process is to research occupations and majors that compliment your interests, personality, skills and values. There are many resources available to help you search these career options to include academic major information, occupational websites, informational interviews, the NOVA library, and Student Development courses (SDV) at NOVA.
Select an area below to begin your major and occupational research.
Majors and Academic Information
- NOVA Degrees and Major Programs of Study
- Choosing Your Major
- Major Resource Kits
- Exploring Majors
- Guide to College Majors
- Major and Career Profiles
Occupational Outlook Handbook
SDV Career Courses
Find Available SDV Courses in the Schedule of Classes.
Step 3. Making Decisions
Making Decisions: Evaluate academic and career options to develop a personalized career plan.
The next step in the career decision making and development process is making a career choice. Answer the questions below according to the information you gathered about yourself and occupations to make an initial career choice.
Making Decisions: Identify Career Options
- What career options fit your interests, personality, skills and values self information?
- What career options fit your occupational research information?
Making Decisions: Weigh the Pros and Cons
- What do you like about the identified career options?
- What do you not like about the identified career options?
Making Decisions: Make a Decision
- What major or program are you going to choose?
- What career are you going to choose?
Making Decisions: Form S.M.A.R.T. Goals
- What are your major or program S.M.A.R.T. goals?
- What are your career S.M.A.R.T. goals?
Making Decisions: Take Action
- Declare a major!
- Explore internship or employment opportunities!
Step 4. Finding Employment
Find employment by searching jobs, writing resumes and preparing for interviews.
The next step in the career decision making and development process is finding a job. The successful job search takes preparation, planning, identifying job leads and interviewing.
Employment Preparation - Find jobs, write a good resume and interview successfully.
Job Search Engines & Resources
- Career Builder
- Job Search Engine
- Job Hunters Bible
- USA Government Jobs
- Washington Post
- America’s Job Exchange
Cooperative Education & Internship Announcements
The College Central Network Database is a searchable database for external off-campus co-op and internship jobs that support work-based experiential learning posted by community employers for NOVA students. Most employers require students to be affiliated with an institution of higher education such as NOVA in order to participate in these coop and internship jobs under regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of Labor. Students interested in work-based experiential learning through NOVA must register for the required Cooperative Education or Coordinated Internship courses with Cooperative Education and Coordinated Internship Services.
Internships Search Engines & Resources