Following Your Career Plan During Your First Year

1. Revisit your career exploration.

Make sure your initial career and educational choice(s) still make sense. Now is a good time to ask (and answer!) these questions, because you should be starting to get a feel for the subject matter in your courses.

  • Does your degree program (A.A., A.S., College Credit Certificate) still seem right to you?
  • Are you still interested in your program of study?
  • Do you enjoy your classes?
  • How well are you balancing school, job, family, community and other responsibilities?
  • Are you feeling good enough about your choices or is it time to go in another direction?

Many people end up in a related field rather than the career they chose initially. Investigating your options is a good idea.

2. Visit your A & CS Advisor to discuss your career interests.

Most new students have assigned Advising & Career Services advisors at their home campuses to support in this process. Other students can make appointments to see advisors in Advising & Career Services. Your advisor is your partner in this process and will be able to point you towards other resources that can give you information about the typical educational requirements associated with certain jobs, the availability of those jobs in South Florida, the kind of salaries typically associated with those jobs, etc. Your advisor can highlight internship and work opportunities available to Miami Dade College students in your chosen career field.

Be sure to bring a copy of the Career Assessment Analysis or your Focus2 results with you.

Some questions to ask your advisor during your first semester/year include:

  • How well does my chosen field of study match up with my career interests?
  • What kind of a job can I get in my field with an MDC degree?
  • If I need further education, does MDC offer those degrees? If not, where can I go to continue my studies?
  • Is there a lot of competition for the kind of job that I want?
  • Are there things outside of the classroom – internships, volunteer work, networking – that I could do to make myself a good candidate for employment or transfer to a baccalaureate degree program?

3. If you’re not sure you want to continue in the career/educational field you chose, re-visit MyCareerShines and complete the Career Assessment Analysis.

It will help you confirm the path you are on or find one that is a better fit for you.

  1. Set up account or login if you already have an account
  2. Complete the online inventories: Career Interests Assessment, Skills Confidence Assessment, Super’s Work Values Inventory
  3. Download and complete the Career Assessment Analysis
  4. Discuss your findings with your A&CS advisor

4. Follow your MAP.

Your MAP (My Academic Plan) is a semester-by-semester plan that lists all the courses you need to take and the order you need to take them to complete your program in as little time and at as little cost as possible.

  • Check your progress against your MAP on a regular basis and make sure you are still on track
  • Review your MDC degree audit on a regular basis to make sure you are completing the academic requirements you need to graduate
  • Talk with your Advisor or College Mentor to be sure that you are moving ahead toward graduation.

5. Speak with your instructors in courses related to your career choice(s)

Your instructors have the best understanding of the career opportunities available in that field. Many of them spent time in those careers prior to coming to the college to teach. They've studied this field and can tell you what it's like. It will also help when the time comes to ask for letters of recommendation for internships, scholarships, and admission to transfer institutions.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • Did you always know this was the field you wanted to work in? What did you study in college to prepare for this career? Did you ever change your major? Was that a difficult decision? How did you deal with the challenges you faced?
  • For someone in your field, what are the different kinds of jobs that you could get? Do you know if these kinds of jobs are available in South Florida? What are the pros and cons of these jobs?
  • How much education does someone need to get to be qualified for those jobs? How difficult is it to get that level of education?
  • Have you had the opportunity to do work in your field that is outside of an academic setting? What were those jobs like?
  • Do you know if there are any internship opportunities or part-time jobs available for students pursuing careers in your field?
  • Given my performance in your class so far, does it look like I have the academic skills to keep on moving towards a career in this field? If not, could you give me some suggestions?

6. Participate in a MDC Community of Interest organized around your program of study.

Another way to expand your learning experience at Miami Dade is to participate in a Community of Interest in your field. This will help you get to know other students and faculty in your program of study and give you opportunities for participating in events in your field, both on campus and in the community. For more information, visit the MDC Communities of Interest website.

7. Visit the MDC Career Exploration Resources page

Follow the “Other Useful Sites for Career Exploration & Job Searching” websites we have collected for you in order to make the best use of your career exploration time.