Your son or daughter just left for (or returned to) college but doesn't seem to have a clue as to what he or she wants to major in, let alone choose as a career. Don't worry, this is not unusual, although you might wish your child had a little more sense of direction. Choosing a career is a process students need to go through—and they go through the stages of this process at different rates of speed. The steps include:

  • assessing skills, interests, and abilities (an important first step to choosing an appropriate career);
  • exploring majors and career options;
  • experimenting with possible career options; and
  • organizing and conducting a job or graduate school search.

You can assist and support your child in each of these stages. But what can—or should—you do?

The most valuable things parents can do to help a student with career planning are:

  • Listen
  • Be open to ideas
  • Help your student find information


More resources:
Eight Things Parents Can do to Help (.pdf, 209k)

Career Planning Course for Parents (.pdf, 237k)

By Thomas J. Denham. Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

By Sally Kearsley. Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.


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Last Updated: 8/4/15