Making Career Decisions

How do I make the right choice?

Well, we have good news! There is no "right choice."

This can also make the process of career decision-making feel confusing, though. After you do your research and explore your do you know what career path is right for YOU? Here are some tips to help you on this journey. And you can always make an appointment to talk to a career coach along the way. Although you are the only one who can make this decision, you don't have to do it alone!


The Basics

Making a career decision is a process, not a one-time event. As you travel along the Career Pathway, if you need help with any of these steps or want a reminder of the resources we suggested, you can go back and review the other pages in this section of our website at any time, or make an appointment to speak to a career coach.


Learn all you can about a career or occupation before you pursue it. Research various majors, careers, and occupations online and through books before you make a decision about your career path. It is also important to understand the difference between careers, occupations, industries, and to know the level of education required for your desired occupation. 


One of the best ways to learn more about a career is speaking with someone in that field or occupation. Connect, network, and discuss your career choices and plans with professionals and alumni. You can get advice from professionals in the field by conducting an informational interview. Learn about companies or specific positions by attending career fairs. Schedule an appointment with a career coach. Faculty members and academic advisors can also be helpful.


Getting involved and gaining experience in the occupation that interests you can help you determine whether or not you are on the right path. Experience in any form is valuable. Get involved in an RSO, volunteer in your community, work on campus, or get an internship.

Back to Interests, Skills, Values

Still feeling confused? Go back to what you know best- Yourself!

Research shows that people are most satisfied in their careers when they align with their own personal interests, skills, and values. If you are feeling overwhelmed with too many options, or maybe nothing you've tried feels just right, it could be that you need to recenter yourself with a return to self-assessment of the things that you like, the things you're good at, and the things that matter most to you. If you can match your career goals with these qualities, you're more likely to feel driven to reach them and satisfied when you succeed.

Try taking some of the assessments linked above to find careers that match your interests, skills, and values, and learn more about how to pursue them.

hand holding a paper slip that reads "Be the Best Version of You", with trees out of focus in the background

EPICS for your Interests

The Career Center has an online assessment tool called EPICS that can help you match your Interests with majors at Illinois. Even if you already have declared a major, it also can give you insight into the types of jobs that would be a good fit for you, because you can use the three-letter code it gives you in the results to browse career matches at O*Net Online.

Make Your Decision


Decide: When deciding on a career or occupation, it’s important for you to weigh the pros and cons, then make a decision. Determine and consider if your career choice fits well with your interests, skills, values, and preferences.

Act: After careful thought and consideration, take action on your decision.

Reflect: Take the time to evaluate your choice. Be sure to review your initial goals and determine what has or has not yet been accomplished.

The Career Center can provide guidance as you make career decisions.  We are available to help you understand your interests, skills, and values, as well as how to connect those to potential majors or careers.