Many First Years visit CECD to begin learning about the career resources and services available to U.Va. Engineering students.

Some stop by to learn how to transform their resume from high school into a format that employers who recruit college students expect to see. Others seek advice on how to maximize their experience at a career fair as a First Year.

We encourage First Years to visit our office early and often to take advantage of the opportunities available throughout the year. Review our First Year career prep checklist for suggestions on what to do this year!

Identify your interests, skills, values, and personality type

If you are interested in studying yourself and understanding how your interests and personality may influence career choices, consider taking one (or both) self-assessment inventories our office offers (free for U.Va. Engineering students). We can also help you identify your skills and values and discuss how these may play a role in future decisions.

Exploring majors and careers in engineering

First Year students often share with us that while they’re interested in studying engineering, they’re unsure which area of engineering is the best fit for them.

Once students have declared a major, many express an interest in gathering more information about career paths that graduates in their field typically pursue.

We’re here to help. Our goal is to provide you with the facts and resources you need to:

  • research engineering disciplines as you make a decision about which to choose as your major and
  • gain an understanding of typical career paths of engineers within your chosen major/field.

Interested in what U.Va. Engineering graduates choose to do after graduation? We've prepared a list of "first destinations after UVA" and organized them by major. Learning about the choices U.Va. Engineering students have made may help you choose a major or start your list of "employers to learn more about."

5 tips for exploring majors

  • Visit and read the websites of U.Va. Engineering departments and degree programs.
  • Speak with professors after class, during office hours, and at departmental events and socials.
  • Learn from your peers. Attend U.Va. Engineering club and organization meetings and ask students who have already declared their majors for advice.
  • Attend Majors Nights in the fall (usually October) and learn about a different department each evening. In the spring semester, attend the U.Va. Engineering Open House to learn more from presentations and speakers.
  • Read about engineering fields and corresponding majors from the four sites below.

4 tips for exploring careers as a First Year

  • Read job descriptions on Handshake, engineering specific job sites, and major job search boards. You’ll gain an early understanding of the types of internships and jobs you may wish to pursue and learn about which skills and areas of knowledge you need to develop before applying.
  • Connect with alumni who share your interests. Alums in the UCAN database have volunteered to answer your career-related questions.
  • Attend presentations, information sessions, and informal events hosted by employers on Grounds. You’ll learn what the company does, hear about entry-level opportunities, gain insights into company culture, and potentially walk away with a professional contact.
  • Learn about typical career paths within numerous engineering fields from the sites below.

Websites that help explore majors and careers

WorldWildLearn offers an overview of engineering majors and technology majors. Note: Not all majors are available at UVA but reading about those areas of engineering can still provide useful information.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Department of Labor provides detailed information on engineering occupations, computer and IT occupations, and more.

With O*Net, learn about the skills, abilities, areas of knowledge, duties and tasks, and interests related to engineering and CS.

For each area of engineering, Careers.org offers an overview of the field, sample job titles, desired skill sets, and tasks often performed by those in the field. Learn about engineering and technology and other areas of interest.

Computer Science Online provides information on Computer Science and IT career paths.