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How to Plan Ahead for Academic Success and Job Hunting

How to Plan Ahead for Academic Success and Job Hunting

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job-search-educationBy Scott Nguyen
Academic Advisor, American Public University System

It is never too early to start planning for the future. Through careful planning, you are more likely to get on the right path and realize your professional aspirations. Here is some information to keep in mind as you complete your degree or transition to your next career after graduation.

Plan Your Courses Carefully to Get the Specialized Knowledge You Need

If your academic program offers a concentration, those specialty courses help you build a relevant knowledge base for your future career. If your program does not have a concentration, choose from multiple courses in your degree program, including the core requirements. Focus on specific courses geared towards what you want to do after you graduate.

Your elective courses are another opportunity to gain specialized knowledge. These courses allow you to study almost any subject and don’t have to be in your degree plan.

Think of your degree plan as a portfolio to give potential employers down the road. By giving thoughtful consideration to your academic coursework, you’ll gain the knowledge and experience that employers seek.

Take Advantage of the University’s Career-Oriented Services

When you look for a job after graduation, you’ll require a good resume and cover letter as you apply to different employers. Having the best possible resume and cover letter will separate you from other applicants in today’s job market, in which job applicants are heavily screened.

The university’s Career Services Department offers useful services for job hunters, including resume reviews, interview advice and mock interviews. For more information, call 877-755-2787 ext. 8260 or email careerservices@apus.edu.

Consider an Internship for Career Experience

Internships have long been a popular method for companies to gain workers, and that trend is increasing. For job seekers, an internship provides inside access to a company and may lead to a job offer.

Although a job offer from the company is not guaranteed, you are more likely to be offered a position while you’re an intern (paid or unpaid). As an intern, you have more familiarity with the company than a job applicant who submits a resume and has no prior relationship with the company.

The Career Services Department can assist you in locating internships. Also, check online — you’ll find internships listed through all of the job-searching websites.

Attend Career Fairs to Meet Company Representatives

Local career fairs are a good way to meet representatives of a company and learn whether or not the company would be a good fit for you. In addition, the university holds several Virtual Career Fairs during the year. At these Virtual Career Fairs, you can speak directly with employers and recruiters in your chosen field.

Think about a Graduate Degree to Expand Your Job Prospects

After you complete your undergraduate degree, you become eligible to enter most of the university’s graduate programs. A graduate degree expands your qualifications and increases your career prospects.

Only a few graduate programs at the university have specific pre-admission requirements, other than your undergraduate degree. For more details on our graduate programs, contact a Graduate Advisor by emailing counseling_graduate@apus.edu or by calling 877-755-2787 ext. 3656.

About the Author

Scott Nguyen has worked as an academic advisor at American Public University System for three years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from The Ohio State University. Scott has a genuine passion for education and seeing students achieve their educational goals.

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