Defining Your Career Goals

Before completing this assessment, you will need to explore and catalogue your strengths and weaknesses, in addition to your interests and life goals. Our site has several links to learning style evaluations and study skill inventories. You may want to begin with the resources in the Learning Styles and Study Habits section.

After studying your strengths, weaknesses, or learning styles, try to apply them to your plans for the future. Before beginning the assessment below, review the Occupational Outlook Handbook to get a sense of the types of careers profiled. Then complete the questions below. Academic Coaches are trained to help students find information on a variety of fields and paths, so you may want to make an appointment to complete this assessment with an Academic Coach.

Defining Your Career Goals Assessment

  1. What are your top strengths (students may refer to their learning styles, multiple intelligences, or any other self-studies completed with a coach or by themselves)? 
  2. What is your proposed career, and why have you picked this career?
  3. How do you see this career maximizing your skills and utilizing your best skills?
  4. What are the educational requirements to reach this career goal? Include undergraduate curriculum and performance requirements, graduate or professional career goals, residencies, etc. Write out your required courses for your major and any courses you may need to take to prepare for a graduate or professional program.
  5. What is the average compensation in this profession? Is it a living wage? Is it enough for you to satisfy your lifestyle goals? Repay student loans?
  6. In what areas or states is this occupation most in demand? In what areas or states is it best compensated?
  7. What are the schedule or time demands for the average practitioner in this field? Will those fit with your goals for leisure, family life, travel, hobbies, or physical activity? 
  8. What are your top priorities when balancing your work, family, and personal lives?
  9. What sacrifices will you make in this career path? Are all these sacrifices acceptable or realistic (ex: will you have to work 80 hours per week to achieve success? If so, are you realistically willing to commit to such a time demand?)
  10. What challenges will you need to plan for? Do you have a long educational path ahead of you? Are there courses or subjects for which you will need to more vigorously prepare?