One of the biggest benefits of a college education is that it can help you get the career you want. In this section, see which careers might be right for you and the education you’ll need to get those careers. The good news is that you don’t have to have everything figured out right now. Pursuing a career takes time and you always have the option to change directions or find a new passion.
Being sure of your interests is the first step to exploring different career paths. Here are some questions to ask yourself about what you’re interested in:
DO YOU LIKE TO BUILD THINGS?
Perhaps a career as an architect, engineer or contractor is in your future.
DO YOU HAVE A PASSION FOR HELPING PEOPLE?
A career in social work, counseling or nonprofit management might be for you.
DO YOU ENJOY WORKING WITH YOUR HANDS?
A career as a construction worker, an electrician, a massage therapist, a restaurant cook or an auto technician/mechanic may be a good fit for you.
IS SCIENCE YOUR THING?
A career in pharmacy, research or chemical engineering might be a good fit for you.
ARE YOU A PEOPLE PERSON?
Research careers in event planning, fundraising, sales, public relations or realty.
DO YOU LIKE SPORTS?
Consider a career in sports management, coaching, equipment sales or personal training.
DO YOU ENJOY MUSIC AND THE ARTS?
Musicians, actors and artists often work for design firms, advertising agencies, production companies and recording studios.
DO YOU LIKE HEALTH AND WELLNESS?
There are lots of jobs in the healthcare sector, like physicians, nurses, physical therapists and nutritionists.
DO YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR COMMUNITY?
Law enforcement, fire safety, and community center/parks management are good opportunities to give back.
DO YOU LIKE WORKING WITH CHILDREN?
Consider a career as an elementary school teacher, a pediatric nurse, a daycare worker or a speech therapist.
ARE YOU A MATH WHIZ?
A career as a financial advisor, an actuary, an insurance underwriter or an accountant will have you working with numbers.
DO YOU LIKE WORKING WITH ANIMALS?
Look into careers as a veterinary technician or veterinarian, a groomer, an animal behaviorist, a zoologist or a biologist.
DISCOVER YOUR INTERESTS
There are lots of different types of people who will be best suited for different types of jobs. You may have friends who think the same way you do, or you may know people who solve problems in a completely different way.
Visit Indiana Career Explorer to discover a variety of careers in Indiana and take an assessment to see how your interests might match up to careers. Another tool to learn more about your personality is the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator. You can take a simplified version here to learn more about what careers may match up with your personality.
Visit Indiana Career Explorer to discover a variety of careers in Indiana and take an assessment to see how your interests might match up to careers. Another tool to learn more about your personality is the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator. There are also free versions online you can take, including this one or this one.
Remember: Personality tests can help you narrow down the wide array of career options, but no test can tell you exactly what you should do with your life.
DISCOVER YOUR PATH
Visit Indiana Career Explorer to access more resources like skills assessments, interest surveys and more. Just create your profile to get started! Once there you can:
Take the career interests survey.
In this survey, you can narrow down some career options by ranking the activities you like to do. When you’re finished, your highest ranked interests will match you with careers you may enjoy.
Take the skills assessment.
Everyone is good at something. Some people are better with numbers. Some people can combine colors and textures in unique ways. Some people enjoy working with their hands and being active. During this assessment, you’ll just mark how confident you feel while completing certain activities, and the results will list careers that require the skills you’re the best at.
Take the work values assessment.
How do you want your work-life balance to look? Do you want to work a more traditional “9-5” job? Maybe you see yourself working in a very hands-on role. How much money do you want to make? These are all important things to consider. This assessment will help you find out what matters most to you in your career and in your lifestyle.
WHAT KIND OF JOBS ARE OUT THERE?
HOW CAN I FIND THEM?
You’ll spend a lot of time in your career, so it makes sense to spend some time thinking about it. Finding a job that you’re a natural fit for will help you feel more satisfied in your career. Everyone is different, and has different strengths and skills.
Check out some of the pages listed here to learn more about how your skills align with your goals, and find out how your personality style can lead you to the perfect career.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN JOB SATISFACTION?
FEELING OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
According to Job and Work Satisfaction Survey (Survey size of 53,043)
The chart above shows there are a lot of things to consider when planning for your career. Don’t forget to think about how many hours you want to work and how much money you want to make. How much time do you want to spend in school? What kinds of degrees are required for certain jobs? Finding the perfect career means balancing these questions with the things you are good at and enjoy doing.
It’s a good idea to look for careers that are hiring people, so you can put your hard-earned degree to work for you. Depending on where you want to work, some jobs are more in-demand than others.
Here in Indiana, some of the fastest growing careers include registered nurses, teachers, welders and machinists. Visit Indiana Career Ready to see an overview of these careers, along with average salaries and degree requirements.
WHAT ARE MY CAREER OPTIONS?
Your strengths and interests are often suited for a particular industry or career cluster. Your skills may be useful in more than one industry – or in multiple careers within the same industry. The Indiana Department of Education identifies 12 career clusters, along with pathways, to help you determine which high school and college courses you should take to get there.
You can preview the clusters below and see a sample of the careers in each cluster, or visit the Indiana Department of Education website to learn more. Remember, making the right choice today can eliminate tough choices in the future.
Careers in architecture and construction include designing, building and maintaining residential, commercial and other buildings. CAREERS INCLUDE: general contractor, architect, property manager
ARTS & COMMUNICATION
A career in the arts is a creative path. You may be designing, writing, performing or creating films and other multimedia content. CAREERS INCLUDE: graphic designer, journalist, videographer
Careers in business involve planning, organizing and directing businesses to sell products or services and make a profit. CAREERS INCLUDE: account manager, marketing executive, entrepreneur
EDUCATION & TRAINING
Careers in education allow you to prepare students for their future. This can include teaching, planning, training or providing other support. CAREERS INCLUDE: teacher, school administrator, special needs educator, training coordinator
The health science field is about helping people thrive in life. This includes bio-research of new drugs, diagnostics and health management. CAREERS INCLUDE: physical therapist, hospital administrator, nurse, physician
HOSPITALITY & HUMAN RESOURCES
The hospitality field focuses on the management and operations of restaurants, lodging and recreation. Human services focuses on emotional care. CAREERS INCLUDE: hotel manager, chef, counselor, social worker
Careers in IT focus on the design, development and support of hardware, software and multimedia, often for large companies. CAREERS INCLUDE: software developer, programmer, IT manager
Manufacturing involves turning raw materials into final products. This includes production planning, quality, maintenance and engineering. CAREERS INCLUDE: quality control manager, production supervisor, machinist
Public Safety careers involve planning and providing for people’s safety, often in emergency situations. CAREERS INCLUDE: policeman, fireman, EMT/paramedic
S.T.E.M. stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Careers in this cluster require being skilled in logic and reasoning. CAREERS INCLUDE: engineer, chemist, microbiologist
Transportation careers include planning and managing the movement of people, materials and goods by road, pipeline, air, rail and water. CAREERS INCLUDE: pilot, logistics supervisor, automotive technician
WHAT KIND OF EDUCATION
DO I NEED FOR THE CAREER I WANT?
Each career requires a different type of degree. Some may require specialized training in a specific field or earning an associate degree.
Others may require many years of advanced study — like doctorate degrees. Some careers require special accreditation or a degree from an accredited college. You may also consider adding a minor. For example, foreign language minors can help a business degree stand out when you start your job search.
Take some time to explore the degrees that the jobs you like require. Then once you start your college search make sure the colleges you apply to offer those degrees or a path to get you there.
See below to get an idea of the degree requirements for some of the top careers in Indiana. Find out more about the different types of degrees. Or, learn more about majors and careers at BigFuture.
1-5 YEARS CAREERS INCLUDE:
Office manager, sales representative, manufacturing supervisor, law enforcement officer, construction worker, carpenter, fireman, air traffic controller
1-2 YEARS CAREERS INCLUDE:
Truck driver, licensed practical nurse, industrial machinery mechanic, plumber, maintenance supervisor, construction supervisor, electrician, machinist, phlebotomist, fitness instructor, veterinary technician
2 YEARS CAREERS INCLUDE:
Dental hygienist, insurance agent, respiratory therapist, radiology technician, occupational therapist, avionics technician, publicist, sonographer, medical records technician
4 YEARS CAREERS INCLUDE:
Registered nurse, K-12 teacher, general manager, accountant, journalist, mechanical engineer, medical services manager, publication editor, industrial engineer, computer systems analyst, software developer, network systems administrator
BACHELOR’S + 2 YEARS CAREERS INCLUDE:
Nurse practitioner, counselor, financial manager, director of engineering, school administrator, clinical social worker, historian, marriage and family therapist, physician assistant, audiologist, architect, archaeologist
MASTER’S + 4-6 YEARS CAREERS INCLUDE:
College professor, pharmacist, family physician, lawyer, physical therapist, dentist, psychologist, geneticist, astrophysicist, anthropologist, research scientist
After you have identified the career you are hoping to pursue, it is time to start planning for your future education. This involves choosing a college or certification program. For guidance on how to do this, visit Planning for College and Next Level Jobs.