What is Career Development?

“Career development is the lifelong process of managing learning, work, leisure, and transitions in order to move toward a personally determined and evolving preferred future” (CERIC & CCCD, 2019).

Every person’s career journey is different.  Because career development is a lifelong process, it is normal to feel uncertainty and anxiety about career decisions at various points in your life. We encourage you to be kind to yourself and remember that you’ve already made career decisions successfully in the past (finishing high school, choosing STU) and you will make many more career decisions in the future.

We’re also here to help you clarify what matters to you.  We use the STU Career Development Model to help students conceptualize their career development.  While your individual career journey is as unique as you, all students at STU have experiences that have career development implications.


We can help you at each of the three phases of the model.  Some of the questions you may ask yourself at each phase can include:


  • What are my short and long-term career goals, and what experiences are consistent with these goals?
  • How can I develop new skills to get future experience?
  • How can I apply these ideas, concepts or issues from class into work? 


  • Academic projects (writing papers, group presentations, course work and content)
  • Volunteering
  • Employment (part-time on or off-campus, internships, full-time summer and post-graduation work)
  • Information sessions with employers, alumni or community members


  • How did I feel when participating in the experience?
  • What did I learn from this experience about myself and my preferences?
  • What values do I have?  What new values did I discover? How does this experience meet those values?
  • What skills did I gain?  How can I use those skills in the future?  How do I talk about those skills to employers?

Want help acquiring experience?

  • Attend our Résumé workshop on Mondays at 9:30 in GMH 304 or Fridays at 2:30 in GMH 304
  • Already attended a workshop? Book a one-on-one appointment for Job Search Coaching
  • Check out our on-and-off campus job board (STU email required)

Want help reflecting on the career development implications of your past experiences?