Center for Career Development – University of Tennessee

University of Tennessee – Center for Career Development

Families: Frequently Asked Questions

When should my student start using the Center for Career Development?
It is never too early or too late to start using the Center for Career Development. We offer programs and resources that benefit first year students through alumni. Encourage your student to visit or call our office to determine what services could help her best.

My student doesn’t have a major or wants to change her major, will she get behind?
Nationally, statistics show that most students will change their majors at least one time during their college careers and only 30% of students who enter with a career goal in mind will eventually work in that field.  Every year, several hundred students enter UT as “university exploratory” or “exploratory” within particular colleges. Many other students will change their major at some point. The Center for Career Development encourages these students to explore major and career options based on their interests, skills, personality and values.

Because 40 to 45 hours of an undergraduate degree consist of general education credits, there are ways for students to design their course schedules so that they don’t “fall behind.” Exploratory students should work closely with Career Counselors and Academic Advisors at Arts and Sciences Advising Services to make wise choices about course selection.

There are many resources available at the Center for Career Development to assist students with their major and career goals including individual appointments, a career exploration class and assessments. Encourage your student to visit the center and to get started.

My student has chosen ____ major, what can he do with THAT?
One of the most popular resources on the Center for Career Development website is What Can I Do With This Major? It is a great way to connect majors to common career areas that people enter with each degree. It also includes typical employers who hire graduates with those majors, strategies designed to maximize career opportunities and a list of web links to continue career exploration.Additionally, it is important to help your student understand that many times, skills and experiences gained outside the classroom direct an individual’s career path. One major can lead to numerous careers and most careers can be entered with a variety of majors. Career Counselors are available to discuss majors and career goals with students during individual appointments.

Do you offer career testing for students?
Our most commonly utilized assessment is the Strong Interest Inventory (SII). The SII is often a good starting point for students who are looking for career direction, whether it is choosing a major or defining a career path. The inventory matches individuals’ interests with the interests of professionals in various occupations who are satisfied with their work. After taking the SII on the Internet, students are required to meet with a career counselor to review their College Profile results and learn more about careers and majors of interest. The Center for Career Development also offers a self-directed system, TypeFocus, that helps students research personality, interests, values and occupational fit. All assessments are free for current UT students. Visit  Career Counseling and Assessments for more information.While assessments are a great starting point for career exploration, students will rarely find “the answer” to their career search in one appointment. Self-assessment, research and exposure to career fields are all important in the career development process.

What career fields are in demand?
Understanding supply and demand is an important part of career exploration. However, we caution students from making decisions based solely on market demands. Markets can fluctuate by the time a student graduates and supply and demand may differ by region. We encourage students to consider a variety of factors including interests, skills and values, when making career decisions. Resources for exploring supply and demand, along with salary statistics, include:

How can my student find a part-time job?
We help students find part-time jobs both on and off campus. Students can search for positions on Hire-A-VOL and in notebooks located in the Center for Career Development, Student Union Level 2. If students need individual assistance, they can meet with Joann Jeter, Assistant Director for Part-time Student Employment. Students will find a variety of employers represented including: retail, restaurant, childcare, offices, and temporary or seasonal positions. Some of the larger on-campus employers include: Dining Services, Office of Information Technology, TRECS, and the Library. If your student has been granted Federal Work Study as part of his financial aid package, the Office of Financial Aid can assist in securing a position.

What skills and experiences should my student get outside of the classroom?
This Developing Skills article does an excellent job of outlining the types of experiences students should seek and the skills they should develop outside the classroom.

How can my student find an internship? Will an internship delay her graduation date?
Registering with our office will allow her to search the Hire-A-Vol system for internship postings, apply online, and participate in on-campus recruiting. She can also meet with her College Consultant for assistance preparing for and searching for internships. Additionally, we host several campus-wide career fairs where students can interact with employers who may have opportunities.

With careful planning, internships do not have to delay graduation. Many are completed during the summer or part-time throughout the school year.  Some internships may be offered full-time during the semester.

When should my student start searching for a job?
Students should plan on starting their job searches two semesters prior to graduation. Most jobs are found through networking, so it is important to start early. Some employers come on campus in the fall semester to hire May graduates. The Center for Career Development provides a wide range of services to help with the job search process, including individual appointments with College Consultants, resume critiques, workshopsinterview practice, job fairs, and an extensive website. Students should also upload their resumes and search for positions on Hire-A-VOL, our online job database and the key to on-campus recruiting.  Graduating students should attend relevant job fairs throughout the school year.

My student is planning to attend graduate school. Does he need to use the Center for Career Development?
Many students don’t realize that the Center for Career Development can assist with the graduate school admission process. Each fall, we bring nationally recognized speaker and author, Donald Asher, to campus to present his seminar, Gaining Admission Into Highly Competitive Graduate Programs. We offer additional workshops, Graduate School Admissions 101 and Writing a Winning Personal Statement, throughout the year. Students can also meet with their College Consultant to discuss the details of graduate school admissions, to have their personal statement critiqued or to conduct a practice interview. We house helpful graduate school resources on the website and in the Career Exploration Center.


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Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System