Getting Started

Getting Started

USE this page if you are not sure how to get started on discussions regarding your career development, or what you think your career needs are.

To figure out where you want to go, you have define where you are at, and define as concretely as possible what you goals are.

We suggest using the SMART Goal method to define each other steps you make in planning your career.


Getting Started with Career at ECC

Consider what is your educational goal here:

- Earn a Degree or Certificate
- Transfer
- Personal Learning? Other?
Use this worksheet to organize your educational goals

Decide on a Program of Study

If you are not sure, ask what you are open to pursuing.

If you are just considering an Associates degree or Certificate here at ECC, review our degrees and certificates by division via our catalog to consider your options

ECC Degrees and Certificates by Division

If you are considering transfer for a bachelor's degree at a University, please visit the Transfer Center page to learn more about transfer

Transfer Center

Here at El Camino College, we have a wide variety of classes to choose from. If you are interested in taking a class to explore your personal, major, and/or career interests, we RECOMMEND review the following document that features courses you could explore from.

Major and Career Exploration Courses at ECC

As soon as you decide on the course of study that’s right for you and your goals, you can move to that degree program with some of your required courses already completed.

Meta Majors at ECC

Meta-majors at ECC are sets of programs designed around seven broad subject areas to let you explore your options while earning credits in courses required for any degree you choose.

Click here to learn more about the Meta-Majors at ECC

ECC Meta Majors

Career Planning

Career development is an ongoing process. Self-exploration fosters a mindset of lifelong learning. It encourages you to continually assess your interests and adapt your career goals as you evolve personally and professionally.

Review the following career wheel as a representation of how career can be viewed as a cycle where you are in a constant state of reflection, exploration, and taking action during your career journey


As you review the wheel, take note that each of the sections corresponds to a different section on the Career Center website. You will find resources that can assist you in progressing and learning in each of these areas. 

REFLECT on these questions to help YOU gain deeper insights into your career preferences and aspirations.

Be patient, and open and honest to yourself as you reflect on the  following prompting questions toward meaningful career reflection:

  • What led to your decision to attend college?
  • What activities make you lose track of the time?
  • What problems do you want to solve? (a better alternative than “What do you want to be when you grow up?”)
  • What skills and knowledge do you want to learn?
  • When having options of classes (electives), what is your thought process in choosing certain courses over others?
  • What Are Your Role Models or Inspirations? What about their careers or qualities appeals to you?
  • What kind of lifestyle do you aspire to have?
  • What Are Your Short-Term and Long-Term Priorities?
  • What can I do with my time that is important to me?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, or 20 years?
  • What does a fulfilling and happy career look like to you personally? How do you measure career satisfaction?

Use this worksheet to collect your responses and ideas to the questions

Life Collage What you are good at, love to do, and what will people pay you to do

Guidance through Career Counseling

If you're undecided or unsure about your major, we'll help you make a more informed decision regarding your educational and career goals.

We provide job search guidance, including resume review, interview preparation/mock interviews, and networking tips that will help you throughout your career.

Within our one-on-one appointments, we may discuss the following:

  • Your interests, strengths, values, personality and how it relates to careers and majors
  • Appropriate career and major resources for career research and reflection
  • Job search guidance and strategies
  • Resume review, interview preparation (including mock interviews), and networking skill development
  • NOTE: Career Counseling is NOT focused on picking out classes for

To schedule a career counseling appointment, do one of the following:

Career Center Hours:

Located in the Communications Building, room 206

  • Monday: 10:00am - 4:00pm
  • Tuesday: 9:00am-3:30pm
  • Wednesday: 9:00am-3:30pm
  • Thursday: 9:00am - 3:30pm
  • Friday: Closed