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Getting Started

Need guidance on a career path? Start here to explore the career development process and browse resources to assist you.

Career Development Process

The Career Center is organized in a way that reflects the career development process combined with the newly implemented Guided Pathways at El Camino College.

Explore the Career Wheel

Career Wheel
Explore the career development process to get started on your journey today.View Career Wheel

The Career Development process wheel highlights various stages of career development and tasks you should consider implementing.

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. 

After you have reviewed the wheel, begin your journey by defining a career for yourself in the drop-down menu below and exploring the resources available below and throughout our website.

Defining Your Career

When thinking about a career in college you might conceptualize your journey like this:

Pick a career→ Choose a major → Earn a degree/transfer → Employment

To some extent, your career pathway looks like this. However, career development is complex and will be filled with many predictable and unpredictable experiences - positive and negative. These experiences will shape your career journey with a cycle of reflection, exploration, implementation, then back to reflection, and the cycle continues. The Career Development wheel above reflects a cycle that you will likely experience throughout your career development.

Before beginning your career journey, you might want to ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • 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?”)
  • When having options of classes (electives), what is your thought process in choosing certain courses over others?
  • What skills and knowledge do you want to learn?
  • What kind of lifestyle do you want?
  • What are your values?
  • What fulfills you?
  • What gives you meaning and purpose?

By asking yourself these questions, you begin to reflect on what is motivating you to attend college and toward a certain career path.

Career Myths

Let's dispel some common career myths we hear most often. 

 

Since career includes the action of building and utilizing your skills, your career doesn’t start after you graduate. Everything that has led you to this point, along with the experiences you will have at El Camino College, all are part of your journey; your career has already started.

 

The world is rapidly developing technologically, and careers are expanding globally. With that comes changing  how we may think about careers.

No longer are people regularly working in a single job for over 20 years until they retire. Instead, there is the expectation that new skills will be learned through your experiences. In your college experience, along with your specialized major knowledge and skill, you want to be learning transferable/21st-century skills (Source).

While we cannot predict what new industry specific skills may be needed, being a constant learner and seeker of new experiences will help you progress forward.

With this mindset, you may come to recognize that staying in the same job may not inspire growth and, therefore, you will have to seek new experiences.

 

You are probably not the only one who feels this way (trust us, we have heard it from many students).

Everyone is on their own journey. Ask anyone who is in their “career” if their journey was planned, and you might be surprised to find that everyone’s journey is likely different and not everything that happened was planned.

What you want to ask yourself now is what experiences are open to you right now to help you figure out what you want to do with regard to your career - volunteering, internships, network, employment, on-campus leadership, etc.

Beyond learning in the classes you may take and the research you will conduct to learn more about careers, you should be looking for experiences outside of class to clarify the kind of work you want to do after you graduate.

 

Resources to Get You Started

Our website is designed, like a career, as an ongoing work in progress, and we are here to provide you with various resources and pieces of career advice to help you get started on your career journey.

Career counselors at the Career Center can help you address issues and challenges you face that lead to you feeling stuck on your career development.  

 

Courses listed are suggestions to help students explore their personal, major, and/or career interests at El Camino College.

Please consult with an academic counselor for information about major, general education (GE), degree, and transfer credits and  requirements as well as credit limitations.

Learn More

 

The El Camino College Program Mapper is a tool you can use to “clarify the path” for all degrees and certificate programs offered at the College.

Anyone can explore all of the programs that El Camino College has to offer and get a general idea of the path and courses required. You may also utilize the ECC catalog’s degrees and certificates page to see the full breadth of our programs.

Access the Program Pathways Mapper

 

Find information about our programs, including average timeline to completion, costs, and employment gains.

Learn More

 

Learn about the 36 occupational programs offered at El Camino College. 

Learn More

 

This guide provides an overview of library resources that can help you explore careers and your interests, research how to write resumes and cover letters, prepare for the job interview process, and more.

Learn More

 

Career Coach has information on occupations within various career areas, a resume builder and a simple assessment to find matching occupations that may be of interest to you. Explore occupational information on daily tasks, education, wages, employment projections, actual job postings, and more. Explore across the entire California Community Colleges system for the variety of possibilities.

 

ECC also has its own Career Coach to see what careers relate to what programs you can take here. 

 

Use the OC Career Café for career-related worksheets throughout your career journey.

 

The California Career Resource Network is California’s official resource for career exploration and planning with links to resources such as CACareerZone and the California Career Planning Guide (found under Quick Start tab).

 

Khan Academy is an online learning platform with instructional videos and practice exercises for a variety of subjects in K-12 and early college. The platform also lists a variety of resources to help you learn how to navigate your career.

Also consider visiting their Life Skills page for additional information on navigating college, careers, personal finance, entrepreneurship, and more.

 

ThoughtCo. contains tips and guides to help ease your transition to college.