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Changing Careers

Information on choosing a career.


Change may be the only thing that's constant in our world today. Careers are not an exception.

If you're not sure which career would be best for you, you can clarify which career areas might be best suited to you by identifying your current skills and interests:

  • What do you like to do?

  • What are you good at?

  • What are some of your strong personality traits that could influence your choice of a career?

  • Take self-assessment and aptitude tests to learn more about your personality, temperament, skills and abilities.

If you know the type of career(s) that interests you and the education required, great! You can begin to look for college programs that will best prepare you for this new field.

If you're not sure which career is right for you or how your current skills may transfer to another field, you can find a wealth of information about specific careers and industries online. Or explore some of the following resources:

  • The Minnesota WorkForce Centers System provides job training services, career information and counseling. For more information, call (888) 438-5627.

  • The Minnesota Career Information System (MCIS) can help you identify your interests and choose an appropriate career and educational course. Self-assessment tests help pinpoint your interests and abilities. A database provides occupational information, identifies colleges that meet specific educational requirements and provides a wide range of information on Minnesota colleges and universities and the programs they offer. Additional information is available on financial aid and job searches. MCIS is available at many high schools, colleges, workforce centers, libraries and correctional facilities.

  • The Educational Opportunity Center provides information on programs of study, helps adults select a college or vocational school, offers assessment services, and holds workshops on career decision-making, goal setting, values clarification and filling out financial aid forms. Services are provided at sites throughout the Twin Cities. The center is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Services are free. For more information and the location of a site near you, call (612) 659-6543.

  • Many community colleges and technical colleges offer assessment services for job and career planning. Some may offer career planning classes.

  • Community education programs also offer career planning classes. Community education phone numbers are listed in the phone book under city offices and departments.

  • Several nonprofit organizations offer education and career planning services. Use the United Way 2-1-1 Information and Referral Service, a directory of community services, to identify local services.

  • Public libraries carry a number of publications on choosing a career and planning your education as well as information about specific careers and colleges.

If you're not sure about a field's educational requirements, consider trying the following:

  • Talk with employers in fields of interest to you. They can describe what type of education they prefer to see in their job candidates.

  • Conduct informational interviews with people in the field to get a real picture of the career.

  • Volunteer for work in an area that interests you to see how you like it and to get valuable experience.

  • Talk with other adults who have taken courses at colleges that interests you. Ask them about the availability and quality of services and classes for adults.

  • Contact a professional association representing an area of study in which you're interested. The Encyclopedia of Associations is available in most public libraries and lists hundreds of professional associations throughout the United States. Contact an association to get information about job responsibilities, working conditions and employment outlooks.