Find out more about your career options by researching industries. You can do this by connecting with professionals, reading online resources, and gaining hands-on experience through the UVA Career Communities, volunteering, clubs, and internships.
Engage with our Industry-Based UVA Career Communities
Search Vault and other industry-focused tools
Students at UVA find the following resources particularly helpful for researching different work areas:
- Career Insider by VAULT: Download Vault guides to learn more about a certain industry, including employment and earnings statistics and what employers look for in job candidates. Access this resource in Handshake by selecting the Resources tab, then selecting the Career Exploration section.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Maintained and updated by the U.S. Department of Labor, the handbook provides in-depth information on hundreds of careers. This tool allows a lot of flexibility in searching and provides a basic understanding of the educational, and experiential requirements for entry into various fields. The handbook is also incredibly useful for learning about overall industry trends like average salaries, rates of growth for occupations, and geographical locations for occupations.
- O*NET: The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is a free online database that contains hundreds of occupational definitions to help students, job seekers, businesses and workforce development professionals to understand today's world of work in the United States
- The Riley Guide: Riley Guide is a great overall career resource and provides a lot of industry specific information. Similar to both the Occupational Outlook Handbook and O*NET in versatility but with some unique features as well.
Take the Focus 2 quiz to see what careers align with your interests and skills
FOCUS 2 Career is an online assessment tool designed for you to complete a number of self-assessments and independently explore related academic majors and occupations. There are five self-assessments you can complete that provide you with personal insight related to your: work and leisure interests, values, skills, and personality characteristics. Your assessment results are matched to occupations and supporting majors at the University of Virginia that you can research and determine if you're interested in exploring these options further.
FOCUS 2 will increase your awareness of your interests in work, school and leisure, as well as provide a general sense for your core values, potential skills, and personality characteristics. It will also provide suggestions for occupations and UVa majors which seem suited to the type of person you are today. You can use the results to gather additional information about your options and add ideas within the "Take Action" section for steps you hope to take in the future. This assessment doesn't tell you what you SHOULD do, but provides easy access to options you can consider.
This is a tool that can be used independently and is easily accessible on most mobile devices. You do not need to meet with a career counselor prior to accessing this tool.
Connect with UVA Alumni in fields of interest
- Virginia Alumni Mentoring Program provides students and their alumni mentors a structured means of initiating a professional relationship to discuss career interests and topics of professional preparation. Search the Mentor database and reach out to an alum working in a career you’d like to learn more about.
- LinkedIn.com is another useful database for career exploration and making career connections. The University of Virginia Alumni, Students and Friends Group on LinkedIn is a great resource for finding out where UVA alums ended up after graduation and beyond. You can also use the “Find Alumni” option (under the “Connections” tab), and even narrow by major.
Talk to your faculty advisor and favorite professors
- Stop by your professors’ office hours to talk about careers that might be of interest in their field of expertise
- The UVA Association Deans, College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Advisors, and College of Arts and Sciences Directors of Undergraduate Programs are also integral parts of shaping your academic path, choosing a major, and exploring careers.
Go to a Career Fair
Set up an Informational Interview with a professional working in a field you want to learn about
Informational interviewing is the process of gathering career information from people who are already working in occupations, organizations, or geographic locations you find interesting. Learn more about Informational Interviewing >
Meet with a Career Counselor for an appointment or drop-in chat
Meet with one of our experienced career counselors in a one-on-one session to discuss different career possibilities, develop an action plan, or enhance search strategies for internships or jobs.