Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

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Not sure where you’re headed? If you don’t know your future job title, you can’t make a plan. Go through How to Choose a Career, then come back to this track!

Job markets are competitive, so you want to give yourself every possible advantage. That starts with choosing the right training.

A lot of people start by looking at majors – and while that’s a good place to start – it’s not all you want to consider. You’re also going to look at school locations (it matters!) and other certifications, skills, and training beyond college.

1) Where are the jobs?

mapFirst, find an area that has jobs and where you can see yourself living.

Look for strong job markets projected 5 to 10 years in the future:

  • If you are¬†looking for projected job growth in Oregon, use the Oregon Employment Department. Enter your occupation and scroll down for “Projected Job Growth”.
  • For other states, use O*NET. Select Bright Outlook occupations in the pull-down to see careers that are growing.

If you need help navigating O*NET or the Oregon Employment Department, talk to one of the Career Exploration Centers.

2) What degree?

graduation capDifferent regions expect different degrees and licensing requirements. (This is another reason to think about where you want to work when choosing an educational path.)

  • Find your occupation in Oregon CIS. Look at “Licensing and Certification”.

3) Which schools?

universityNow that you know what degree and certification to get, find schools that offer these credentials. Look for schools in the region where you want to work, so you can create connections and network, and eventually land that job.

Internships and faculty connections are some of the most common ways students end up in their first job after graduation!

  • Find your program of study in Oregon CIS, then look at “Oregon Schools” or “US Schools”. Find a school in your preferred location that offers your program.


Keep track of research
Oregon Career Information

As you research, keep track of what you learn. This is both so you don’t have to do work twice, and so you can track your progress.

Oregon CIS is a free tool for PCC students. Use the career planning page to record what you learned about schools in the area where you want to live.

You’re done with this step when…
  • You found out about the job market in your preferred location.
  • You found what degree you’ll need, and at least 2 schools that offer this degree.
  • You have a place where you are keeping track of your research.

Where to get help

Career professionals at PCC will give you excellent advice about how to make a realistic and doable plan. Services are free to PCC students!

PCC career contact information
If you are... Then contact...
Planning how to transfer to a 4-year school Academic Advising
Refining your career goal Career Exploration Centers