Career Exploration

What jobs will I get with a CLA major?

Thousands of jobs are open to you. Every CLA major prepares you for a wide variety of careers. If you're deciding on a major, be sure to choose one you will enjoy. This is more important than choosing a major you think employers will prefer. When you study a subject you enjoy, you're likely to do well academically, and that's one way to make yourself a strong job candidate later. Also consider a minor or classes that supplement your major.

What will make me marketable to employers?

Your major isn't the only thing that equips you to find a good job. There are 3 keys to opening career doors:

A Simple Formula
degree + skills + experiences = career options
  1. Your degree
  2. Your skills
  3. Your undergraduate experiences

While you're at the U of M, you'll have many opportunities to gain the skills and experiences employers seek.

Will my major determine what career I have?

Your college degree is much more important to your future than the name of your major. Your major won't necessarily determine your career path. Employers seek job applicants with a degree and a strong academic record. College graduates often go on to work in a profession unrelated to their college major. It's also common to change careers multiple times throughout your life.

Don't worry too much about planning a specific career tied to a specific major. Sometimes that is appropriate, but sometimes it isn't. Your advisers and career counselors can help you figure this out. You should focus on getting your degree, gaining experience, and building skills.

What skills and experiences do employers seek?

Skills:
A CLA major helps you develop the skills employers prefer. Think about the skills you have now, and the ones you may need to develop. Recent surveys show the skills below to be the top ones that employers seek:

  • communication skills (written and oral communication)
  • strong work ethic
  • ability to work on a team (collaborate well with others)
  • initiative
  • interpersonal skills (relate well with others)
  • problem-solving skills
  • leadership skills
  • creativity
  • ability to learn new ideas or skills quickly
  • analytical skills and critical thinking abilities
  • flexibility/adaptability
  • computer skills/technical skills
  • detail-orientation
  • organizational skills

Experiences:
Employers seek job applicants who have some of the experiences listed below. That's because these experiences build the kind of skills employers seek. It's never to late to get experience!

Are you wondering how to get some of the experiences on this list? Click the links above, or stop by CLA Career Services for information. You can also talk to your advisor, browse the U of M's Engage! site, or visit the U of M's Center for Community-Engaged Learning.

When you're ready to look for a job:

CLA Career Services offers many resources. We help you with job-search strategies, resume critiques, practice interviews, on-campus recruiting opportunities, job-prep workshops, and much more. You can also explore careers and experience opportunities through our many links.