Career Discernment

Engage in Self-Reflection

In order to choose a major or career path, you must know yourself. Knowing yourself entails identifying your Values, Interests, Personality, and Skills (VIPS). To achieve long term career satisfaction it is important to implement all four of your VIPS in your future career. To help you get started, complete our Seven Clues to Help You Get Started online interactive activity. Answering these 7 questions will help you with this process and will offer clues in understanding your VIPS. Additionally, you may find value in these assessment activities:

Study What You Enjoy

Your major does not define your career path! You will be more motivated to attend class if you are interested in what you are studying.

  • What Can I Do With This Major/Degree?
  • Read course descriptions in Notre Dame’s Bulletin of Information and on departmental websites.
  • Speak with faculty and upperclass students in the various departments you are considering studying.
  • Attend the “Majors Fair” coordinated by First Year of Studies, Student Government, and our staff.
  • Find an academic clubs that interest you. If you can find a club that has nothing to do with your major, that's even better. Broaden your experience to become well-rounded.


  • Research careers related to what you have learned about yourself.

    • Candid Career, Vault, Wetfeet - Learn and read about various careers in our Online Resources.
    • O*NET - Read detailed descriptions of the world of work:
    • First Destination Report - Review information regarding ND students’ plans after graduation. 
    • Conduct informational interviews with family, friends, alums, and industry experts to gain practical career knowledge and learn details you would not find on a company website. Utilize IrishCompass (networking and mentoring site), myNotreDame (the Alumni Directory) and LinkedIn. For more information and links to these sites, visit our Neworking page.

Set Goals: Act

  • Review our Major and Career Discernment Process
  • Think about how to utilize your time, set goals, and act! Some experiences to consider:
    • student clubs & organizations
    • experiential programs
    • job shadow
    • research
    • service
    • fellowship opportunities
    • study abroad
    • internships