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Developing an Academic Career Plan

Plans vary depending on the number of years a student may take to reach graduation.

Credit hours have been provided below to allow for guidance.  Graduate level hours may vary.  Illustration below uses a 36 hour program for graduate levels and adjustments should be made to project plans for increased credit hour programs.  All numbers illustrated below represent approximations for benchmarking purposes only.

Undergraduate:  up to 25 credit hours, Graduate:  up to 9 credit hours

  • Be a student – adjust to being in college and begin understanding how to balance school/studying, work, and outside activities.
  • Visit the Career Services Office and get to know the staff.
  • Begin exploring a chosen major to identify positions, industries, the job outlook, salaries and more.  The Career Service Office can help.
  • Look into joining student and professional organizations to gain visibility among groups and employers.  The Office of Student Life and Diversity has a listing of all student organizations on the IUPUI website.

Undergraduate:  26-55 credit hours, Graduate:  9-18 credit hours

  • Begin researching careers within your major and go into further research by doing Informational Interviews with faculty and employers.
  • Register on the schools recruiting system as a student.
  • Job Shadow professionals who are working in your career field/s of interest.
  • Create or review a resume with the Career Services Office and continually make updates as skills are developed.
  • Consider seeking an internship, freelancing, or part-time work within your major (or full-time if full-time status is required – keep full-time internships in mind if benefits are not required.  If benefits are needed then ask your employer if there are any projects related to your major that you can work on.)  Internships may count as optional electives for your major.  Visit the Career Services Office to see if your internship qualifies for credit and fill out a credit internship form.
  • Begin attending events where employers are present, such as student organization meetings and job fairs (on and off campus).  Continue to attend until graduation.
  • Become involved with student and professional organizations and consider being more than just a member.  Volunteer – employers value initiative.

Undergraduate:  56-85 credit hours, Graduate:  18-24 credit hours

  • Obtain an internship or experience related to your major (2-3 internships are recommended before graduation).  Remember to seek credit for internships.  Form:  (hyperlink to credit internship form)
  • Continue with involvement and network within student and professional organizations.
  • Continue to update your resume as new experiences are obtained.

Undergraduate:  86+ credit hours, Graduate:  24-36 hours

  • Continue doing internships (approximately 70-80% of internships extend offers of part-time or full-time employment).
  • Start seeking full-time offers about 6 months prior to graduation (if not obtained already from internship experiences).  Use the schools recruiting system and networking skills learned.
  • Finish school.  If an offer has been made contingent upon graduation, then the offer may be pulled if the degree is not completed.