Helping Your Student Chart a Successful Path into the World of Work

As a parent of a college student, you’ve probably been approached by your son or daughter with questions related to his or her occupational future. What major should I choose? What should be my career goal? What things must I do to achieve that goal? The answers to these and other career-related questions are crucial to helping your student chart a career path that will be personally fulfilling and professionally rewarding. 

At Regis University’s Center for Career and Professional Development, we are dedicated to helping your student make informed career decisions and take the steps that will lead to career fulfillment and success. In pursuing that mission, we want to enlist your support and offer the following approaches you can take to ensure that your student has every opportunity and resource available to achieve his or her highest potential in the world of work.

Download the Parent's Guide

Encourage your student to visit the Center for Career and Development Services

Career-related decisions are ones that shouldn’t be made in haste. Their importance in shaping professional development, personal well-being, and financial security tell us we should devote the time and resources necessary to make well-informed decisions. Students in their first semester of college typically aren’t focused on these issues. Understandably, they are more concerned with adjusting to college life. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be wise for a student to wait until the senior year to begin the career planning process.


If your student hasn’t selected a major or becomes unsure about the one he or she has declared, encourage a visit to the Center for Career and Professional Development. Our career counselors offer a variety of resources, including skills, interests, and values assessments and one-on-one counseling sessions that can provide the information and confidence needed to make those decisions. But meeting with a career counselor only to select a major isn’t nearly enough. Decisions about identifying a career goal and the steps needed to successfully achieve it also benefit enormously from such meetings. So, encourage your student to regularly visit the Center for Career and Professional Development each year of his or her Regis education to take full advantage of all services and resources it offers.


And if you have any doubt about the usefulness of such a strategy, consider this: a study conducted by a graduate student at Bowling Green State University in Ohio concluded that college students who use the full range of career center services tend to be more optimistic and feel more prepared about transitioning from college to career.

Allow your student to make his or her own choices

Career related decisions are not always easy for students to make.  While your student needs your help and support with these decisions, ultimately, he or she is the one who should make the final decision about selecting a major or career path.

Sometimes, this perspective may be difficult to accept.  For example, you may have a family tradition in a particular career field or family business.  Or you may be tempted to encourage your student to major in a particular academic subject because it can lead to jobs in a currently “hot” occupational field.  The reality is that there is no such thing as a major that guarantees a job, and some “hot” job fields today can fizzle out with changing economic conditions.

Students should develop and pursue their own career goals based on their skills, interests, personality, and values.  Encourage your student to select a major and pursue a career path that he or she feels enthusiastic about.  That enthusiasm will be much more likely to translate into personal satisfaction and career success.  Also, keep in mind that regardless of the major, there are good job opportunities for those who plan for them.  We encourage you and your student to take a look at our Linking Majors to Careers online at our website at www.regis.edu/CCPD (click on "What Can I Do With This Major?").

Encourage academic and career curiosity and exploration

Being curious and willing to explore possibilities is an important part of making informed career related decisions.  Encourage your student to enroll in different courses that may be of interest and learn about occupations that are appealing.  Our website has numerous resources for occupational research and exploration, including the Alumni Career Network, an online database of Regis University alumni who are available to answer questions about their occupations and industries.

Support involvement in extra-curricular activities

Clubs, sports and volunteer activities provide opportunities to develop valuable leadership, teamwork, time management, and communication skills to help your student prepare for the world of work.  Employers consider these “soft” skills highly desirable, and they seek out job candidates who possess them.

Suggest taking a career options course

Suggest that your student talk to his or her academic advisor about enrolling in College, Careers and Your Future (PC 220).

This two-credit course is designed for students who've might not yet declared a major or are considering a change of major, or who want to make or confirm career decisions. During the semester, students will be acquainted with and explore different aspects of the career planning process. They will also take various self- assessments to identify their skills, interests, personality, and values and relate them to their decisions about selecting a major and/or career path.  

For more information about PC 220, contact Brent Vogel, Director of the Center for Career and Professional Development, at bvogel@regis.edu.

Emphasize the value of doing an internship

More and more employers are seeking out college graduates who have had the opportunity to explore their occupational interests and develop pertinent knowledge and skills through an internship experience.  The Academic Internship Program works with Regis College students and faculty advisors to find unpaid internships for juniors and seniors that combine valuable practical experience with academic credit toward graduation.  For more information, go to www.regis.edu/collegeinterns.

Persuade your student to write a resume with help from the Center for Career and Professional Development

Any application your student makes for an internship or a job will most likely require a resume. In order to be competitive, it’s essential to have a resume that effectively presents your skills and experience. The career counselors at the Center for Career and Professional Development are highly skilled in providing your student with the kind of critique and advice that can get his or her resume noticed by a prospective employer.


Encourage networking to build relationships

Networking is an essential skill necessary for success in transitioning from college to career. Fundamentally, it’s about building mutually beneficial relationships with others that can help you become a working member of an occupational community. Encourage your student to attend the Center for Career and Professional Development workshops, career fairs, and other events that are offered to teach networking skills and provide opportunities to practice and refine them.

Give your support to Career Services

Call the Center for Career and Professional Development when your business needs to recruit college students or college graduates to fill a summer, part-time, or full-time position. Through our CareerLink online system, you can post positions without charge that can be viewed by the thousands of students and alumni of Regis University who are registered users of CareerLink. For more information about recruiting at Regis University, call our office at 303-458-3508 or email careers@regis.edu.