Career Planning

Career Planning

Career planning is a structured process for analyzing your skills and interests, formulating long-term goals and devising strategies to achieve them. As straightforward as this might seem, it can become complicated very quickly. Among the issues you have to clarify:

  • What are your talents and passions?
  • Which career opportunities have the most realistic possibilities of satisfying your interests?
  • How can you get from your plan to a job that aligns with your planned career?

There are many resources available that can help you answer the above questions.  Below are some valuable career information resources:

Major Clarity:

  • MajorClarity is an engaging and student-driven career exploration platform. Beginning in 8th grade, students will dive into MajorClarity for an interactive opportunity to identify personal career interests, test-drive career pathways, and build a plan of study

NC Careers: 

  • At NC Careers, you will find valuable resources that can assist you in exploring careers, including detailed information on occupational ratings, job duties, education/training, wages, employment outlook, and more.

Career One Stop:

  • Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Career One Stop offers salary data, employment trends, and self-assessments.  You can download the work importance locator, which identifies features that are important in a job.    Skills, abilities, and interests assessments are also available.

College Foundations of North Carolina (CFNC):

  • CFNC promotes access to North Carolina higher education and assists students with education planning, career planning, and applying and paying for college. CFNC is used at Smoky Mountain High School starting in the 9th grade to get students signed up with an account and start thinking about their future options through career building exercises.  Visit our Student Support Services website here for more information.

NC Commerce: 

  • The North Carolina Department of Commerce is the state’s lead agency for economic, community and workforce development.  The Department works with local, regional, national and international organizations to fulfill its mission to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for all North Carolinians.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. Its mission is to collect, analyze, and disseminate essential economic information to support public and private decision-making.

Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH):

  • The OOH can help you find career information on duties, education and training, pay, and outlook for hundreds of occupations.

Career Outlook: 

  • Career Outlook articles provide data and information on a variety of topics—including occupations and industries, pay and benefits, and more.


  • O*NET OnLine has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more!

  • helps students and professionals plan more fulfilling lives by making well-informed decisions about their education and careers. Whether you’re deciding on what college to go to, choosing a major, planning ahead for your first career, or thinking about making a career change, can help you explore options and bring clarity and insight into figuring out what’s right for you.

Career Key: 

  • has information about changing careers, job satisfaction, choosing a major and identifying your skills.

The Career Project:

  • The Career Project is a free online database of thousands of career profiles. Each “career profile” is the result of a one-on-one interview with a professional. This site can help students and young professionals to get the “inside scoop” as to what it is really like to work in a given field, or with a given job title that may peak their interest.

National Career Development Association: 

  • The National Career Development Association (NCDA) provides professional development, publications, standards, and advocacy to practitioners and educators who inspire and empower individuals to achieve their career and life goals.

Mapping Your Future: 

  • Online and offline resources include college preparation, school selection, career exploration, and counseling aimed at helping students and families better understand student loan obligations and learn about practical money management solutions to ensure healthy finances while in school and beyond.

Quint Careers:

  • The career exploration section at QuintCareers offers hundreds of career planning articles, links, and tools. Resources include industry magazines, checklists, and directories.  The site also has college planning, financial aid, and job search resources.  No matter what your career stage, QuintCareers is a must-visit website.