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Home > Current Students > Career Services > For Students

Student Career Development Process

Where are you in the Career Development Process? Choose a step to begin.

Step 1

Understanding self by identifying your interests, personality, skills, and values through career assessments.

Click here to learn more.

understanding self

Step 2

Exploring careers by researching information on job salaries, outlook, required skills, educational requirements and typical work duties.

Click here to learn more.

exploring careers

Step 4

Finding employment by searching jobs, writing resumes, and preparing for interviews.

Click here to learn more.

finding employment

Step 3

Making decisions by evaluating academic and career options to develop a personalized career plan.

Click here to learn more.

maing decisions
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Understanding Self

Understanding self by identifying your interests, personality, skills and values through career assessments.

The first step to the career decision making and development model is to learn more about yourself. Complete the following four sections to learn about career decisions that are consistent with your interests, personality, skills and values. To get started, select one of the career assessment areas below.

Combined assessments help you to explore interests, personality, skills and values.

FOCUS 2

Focus Logo

FOCUS 2 is an online, interactive, self-guided career and education planning system that can help you:

  • Select a major based on your interests and aspirations
  • Discover occupations matching your personal preferences and attributes
  • Map out your career plans, present and future
  • Make informed career decisions

Learn More

View FOCUS 2 Online Career and College Major Planning Presentation

Get Started

View/Print Setting Up Your FOCUS 2 Account Handout

Access code: NOVA
VCCS student e-mail account required to create an account

Click on the FOCUS 2 icon above to access the system.

Personality assessments help you to explore who you are as a person.

Select an assessment below to explore your personality:

Career information by Personality Type:

Skills assessments help you to explore what you are good at and your talents.

Select an assessment below to explore your skills:

Values assessments help you to explore what matters to you.

Select an assessment below to explore your values:

Assessments For Purchase At Each Campus Counseling and/or Career Center: (Please contact a career counselor directly to receive authorization for one of these assessments for purchase; these assessments are highly recommended.)

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (M.B.T.I.) – a personality inventory with a wide range of applicability including career decision making, learning, stress, relationships, communication, and etc.
  • Strong Interest Inventory – a career assessment instrument based on work related to interests and occupational information.
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Exploring Careers

Exploring careers by researching information on academic majors, job salaries, outlook, required skills, educational requirements and typical work duties.

The next step in the career decision making and development process is to research occupations and majors that compliment your interests, personality, skills and values. There are many resources available to help you search these career options to include academic major information, occupational websites, informational interviews, the NOVA library, and Student Development courses (SDV) at NOVA.

Select an area below to begin your major and occupational research. 

Informational Interviews

NOVA Libraries

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Making Decisions

Making Decisions: Evaluate academic and career options to develop a personalized career plan.

The next step in the career decision making and development process is making a career choice. Answer the questions below according to the information you gathered about yourself and occupations to make an initial career choice.

Making Decisions: Identify Career Options

What career options fit your interests, personality, skills and values self information? What career options fit your occupational research information?

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Making Decisions: Weigh the Pros and Cons

What do you like about the identified career options?

What do you not like about the identified career options?

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Making Decisions: Make a Decision

What major or program are you going to choose?

What career are you going to choose?

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Making Decisions: Form S.M.A.R.T. Goals

What are your major or program S.M.A.R.T. goals? What are your career S.M.A.R.T. goals?

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Making Decisions: Take Action

Declare a major! Explore internship or employment opportunities!
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Finding Employment

Find employment by searching jobs, writing resumes and preparing for interviews.

"The next step in the career decision making and development process is finding a job. The successful job search takes preparation, planning, identifying job leads and interviewing."

Employment Preparation - Find jobs, write a good resume, and interview successfully

External Job Announcement Database

The External Job Announcement Database is a searchable database for external off campus jobs posted by community employers for NOVA students. The database allows students to conduct searches for regular full and part time jobs.

Job Announcement Database

External Cooperative Education & Internship Announcements Database

The External Cooperative Education & Internship Announcements Database is a searchable database for external off campus coop and internship jobs that support work-based experiential learning posted by community employers for NOVA students. Most employers require students to be affiliated with an institution of higher education such as NOVA in order to participate in these coop and internship jobs under regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of Labor. Students interested in work-based experiential learning through NOVA must register for the required Cooperative Education or Coordinated Internship courses with Cooperative Education & Coordinated Internship Services.

Job Announcement Database