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Career Path Assessment

Academic Majors

In many cases, academic degrees serve as the foundation to career paths. In other words, committing to a major is an integral stepping stone to identifying a desired career path. This commitment is a reflection of academic interests, intellectual skills, subject knowledge, and personality. It is critical to understand the job market when choosing your major. If you are interested in technology and the current job market has a high demand for technology related positions, then you should prepare in advance by taking relevant courses, gaining critical tools, and earning field experiences needed to achieve that job position in a technology related field. One of the most common practices is to study in a field related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).


  • STEAM is now STEM with Art included as an important element.

  • Advanced technology must be coupled with an artistic touch to be competitive in today’s market. More and more companies are looking for graphic designers and display architects who can elevate the customer experience of all their products and even store displays.

Certifications and Licenses

Naturally, students choose career paths that are relevant to their academic degrees. In fact, many companies require specific academic degrees in their job descriptions, because they seek relevant education and experiences that are immediately translatable to the work at hand. At times, however, certain degrees in liberal arts or general life sciences do not necessarily equip you with the skills and knowledge needed in a desired career path. In such cases, you can still deepen your knowledge by studying for a certification or license. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks down each as follows. A certification is awarded by professional organizations or a nongovernmental body. It is often obtained through an examination process, and is not legally required for work. The following are occupations that do offer certifications.

  • Electrical power-line installers and repairers

  • Automotive body and related repairers

  • Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians

  • Telecom technicians

  • Human resources professionals

A license is awarded by a governmental agency, and gives legal authority to work in an occupation. It is obtained through a degree or a state- administered exam. The following are occupations that require licenses.

  • Physicians, Pharmacists

  • Dental hygienists

  • Nurse practitioners

Licenses and certifications are not always mandatory, but employers may require you to have one or the other for a particular job in specific industries. Employees with licenses or certifications, on average, have a higher average pay than those without these credentials.

Current Industry Trends

Booming industries are fast-paced with constant changes, requiring that you stay competitive by having an active license and certification, and by continuously upgrading your skills and knowledge.

Research the current job market to study industry trends and hot skills needed to be successful in that dream job. Sign-up for daily newsletters that provide periodic updates and case studies on the current trends and evolving job market. Actively look for articles that give career insights.

Figure 2: Daily Subscriptions that can help you know current industry trends

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