What is A Professional Career Development Course?
Professional Career Development (PCD) is a five-credit hour course designed to give you a very early start on the process of career planning and development. The process involves thoughtful self-assessment, career exploration, planning and follow-through with preliminary employment strategies. The philosophy of the course is that this process is ongoing, systematic, and aimed toward a fulfilling work life, which is part of your overall plan for personal development. Engaging in this ongoing process should be challenging, interesting, and enjoyable. Taking advantage of the options in this PCD course will aid you in your transition from college student to professional employee and give you a more direct route to your long-term career goals by anticipating and acquiring the requisite skill sets, courses, and experiences for an entry-level job that will be the best starting point on your chosen career path.
Career planning and development in PCD will:
- Provide you with many opportunities to explore your own interests, values and skills and to begin developing those skills and qualities that will enable you to be highly successful in the workplace.
- Introduce you to a variety of career options and provide you with real-world feedback on what an actual career in a particular area is like on a day-to-day basis through numerous opportunities to listen to and talk to practising professionals in your profession.
- Encourage you to engage in thoughtful academic, extracurricular, career and lifelong planning.
The course is taught by faculty and staff in your academic discipline. The instruction is supplemented by inviting guests from the professional community, usually in panels, who will give you a realistic view of the work life in your profession after you graduate. The career centre staff also participates in the instruction because they have an immediate role of assisting you in finding internships, part-time employment, and career opportunities after graduation. This team approach to instruction, supplemented by follow-up projects and assigned readings, is designed to facilitate you’re achieving your short-term and long-term career goals.
This career planning and development course were designed following a very simple model of assessment, exploration, goal setting and follow-through.
- The first step involves personal self-assessment – an honest, self-reflective appraisal of your interests, skills, personality, and values.
- With the second step, you begin to explore the various professional career options open to someone with your credentials.
- The third step joins dreams and reality by setting goals and defining strategies for achieving them. You will be asked to consider basic career planning questions such as:
- What do I want to do with my life?
- What careers interest me?
- What skills do I have?
- What skills do I need?
- What new skills would I like to acquire?
- How do I best prepare for my career?
- Which courses, and supplemental education would be best for me?
- How do I get practical experience while in school?
- Should I take an internship? Should I study abroad? Where? When?
- How can I develop leadership and other skills?
Each week you will have the opportunity to attend a two-hour lecture class. These class sessions are taught by those who can best serve as experts, including many faculty members, business guests, staff, and graduate students. The first part of the class will be taught by your instructor/career Counselor and the second part will be short talks or panels from career professionals and the Career Center staff.