Career Exploration

Research You Can Do From Anywhere

Research career, job and employment options in a variety of industries and locations. The more research you do, the more likely a career path will become evident to you.

  • Start your career research with the Occupational Outlook Handbook. It describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
  • Take one or more career assessment tests (Self-Assessments, next section).  If you're unsure of your career direction, these tests should be one of your first steps in researching careers.
  • Develop a career plan. Conducting career-related research and gathering information about careers is great, but you should consider developing a career plan.
  • Review books about specific careers. You can find these books online and in WSU Career Services.
  • Talk with your network of contacts -- family, friends, professors, teachers, neighbors, peers, colleagues, mentors -- about potential careers.
  • Conduct career research online ("What Can I Do With This Major?"). Learn more about careers, specific jobs, and jobs for specific college majors. 

Get Out and Network

  • Build your network and create a profile on LinkedIn and join the WSU Career Connections group.
  • Visit Career Services, 314 Maxwell. Whether a current student or an alum, we can help you in many, many ways.
  • Arrange job shadow or informational interview with people who have careers that interest you.
  • Join a job club.
  • Consider volunteering.  

    Once you're done exploring careers, the next step is to begin researching companies and geographic preferences. Use an online source such as Hoovers, your one-stop reference for business information.  Our Salary and Cost of Living page will help you with knowing what to expect for salary in a certain geographic area.

Helpful Links:

Career One Stop

Job Choices (from NACE)

Occupational Outlook Handbook
What Can I Do With This Major?
Where the Jobs Are (Partnership for Public Service)

Non-profit Careers

Note: Please note that the links to other websites are provided as a source of information but are not maintained or endorsed by Winona State University Career Services.)

Career Services administers many assessments to assist students in choosing majors and careers that fit their unique interests, values, strengths, and personalities. Focus 2 is most often given to first-year or sophomores, and while it is recommended that you meet with one of our staff members to go over the results, this inventory can be taken and interpreted on your own. The other three assessments – Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), StrengthsQuest (SQ), and the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) – all need to be administered and interpreted by one of our trained Career Services professionals. All of these assessments are free for current students and alumni of WSU.

Set-up an Appointment Today!


This instrument offers five valid assessments (Work Interest, Personality, Skills, Values, Leisure Interests) to help you explore career options, choose a major, and set career goals and make decisions about your future. As a participant, you will create a username and password, which will allow you to build a portfolio and action plan. You will also be able to save and print assessment results and job and career favorites throughout your WSU academic career.
  • First time users, please use the following access code:  warrior
  • Returning users: login with your username and password on the Focus 2 website.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is the most widely used personality assessment. It assesses preferences with how we take in information, where we focus our attentions, how we make decisions, and how we approach life. The assessment can be used in many ways. Career Services will use the assessment to help you search for internships and jobs; looking at job functions and work environments that would be a best fit. The initial appointment is short, but a more lengthy interpretative meeting (45-60 minutes) with a certified MBTI consultant at Career Services will be required so that your results can be discussed in more detail.


Many years of research conducted by The Gallup Organization suggest that the most effective people are those who understand their strengths and behaviors.  These people are best able to develop strategies to meet and exceed the demands of their daily lives, their careers, and their families.  The StrengthsQuest Assessment presents your five most dominant themes of talent and, along with a staff member at Career Services, offers you an understanding of where these strengths and talents may lead in your search for an appropriate college major and career.

Strong Interest Inventory (SII)

This career interest instrument is a powerful tool that can help you make satisfying decisions about your career and education.  You can benefit greatly from the wealth of information reflected in your SII results.  The Strong measures interests, not skills or abilities, and the results can help guide you toward rewarding college majors, careers, and work and leisure activities.  The initial appointment is short, but a more lengthy interpretative meeting (45-60 minutes) with a certified SII consultant at Career Services will be required so that your results can be discussed in more detail.


Who Do I Contact?

To set-up an appointment, email or call 507.457.5878 or in person at Career Services in 314 Maxwell. Rochester students call 507.280.5079 or stop in person at SS125.

Choosing a major can be stressful but it should be fun too! Lots of college students are still deciding their freshmen year, which is OK!

Visit the Prepare to Declare site and start at Step 1. Begin exploring your interests, personality and values. Continue through the steps to explore majors that fit you, and to understand how majors lead to careers.

Learn About WSU Majors

Learn About Careers Options

  • Talk to family and friends about what they do for a living
  • Talk to professors about career opportunities specific to their field
  • Visit websites providing information on a wide range of careers
  • Visit the webpage: What Can I Do With This Major?
  • Arrange an informational or networking interview with one of our career advisors

Individual advising sessions are available to current students and alumni. 

Make an appointment for assistance with:

  • Choosing a Major
  • Job and Internship Searches 
  • Resumes
  • Cover Letters 
  • Interviewing 
  • Graduate School Applications 

Individual advising sessions are by appointment and are generally scheduled for 30 minutes.

Who Do I contact?

To set-up an appointment, use our on-line Scheduler or email or call 507-457-5878, or in person at Career Services in 314 Maxwell. Rochester students call 507-280-5079 or stop in person at SS125.