Career Advising

Five Steps to Thrive

Do you need help planning your career? We are here to help!

Students who have a clear direction for their careers are generally more motivated for success in college. SCTCC provides a variety of services to guide you in choosing a successful path that is right for you.

Career exploration is about YOU and your future. It will help you answer three questions: Who am I? Where am I headed? How do I get there?

There are many people and resources at SCTCC to support you in your journey but it is up to YOU to lead your journey. Before exploring your future, it's important to think and reflect on the following questions to help you determine how your career exploration journey looks:

If you're motivated and ready to start exploring careers, follow the Five Steps to Thrive to discover your future with SCTCC.

Before Starting

Congratulations on embarking on your journey to discover your academic and career goals! You have chosen to take the next step to discover more about yourself.

Five Steps to Thrive is structured experience that will help guide you through career exploration. Before beginning, download the Five Steps to Thrive Journal. You may also stop into the Academic Advising Center or Career Services for printed hard copies of the journal.

This journal is a reflective tool for you to utilize during your career exploration. The journal guides you through each step to help reflection and provide space for notes. While you engage in the different activities, follow along in your journal to maximize the rewards in your career exploration.

Ultimately, you will benefit the most by spending time reflecting on your experience and writing down your thoughts. Reflection aims to give purpose to what you are learning and doing. In this process, you should always ask yourself, what am I learning? Why is this new information important? What does this new information mean to me? Do I agree or disagree with this new information? How will I apply this information?

The most important piece to remember is this is for YOU. This is not required but highly recommended to complete. You can take control of your future.

Step One: Assessments - Who am I?

What interests you? There are a lot of factors that go into deciding which career is right for you.

First, you want to consider your interests, abilities, and values. Take the Minnesota Career Information System (MCIS) career assessment. Click here to login. Once you are logged in, create a portfolio account and take the assessments. It is important to create your own account so you can save your assessment results.

Login information and brochures outlining MCIS instructions are also available at the Career Services and Academic Advising Center at SCTCC. Complete the MCIS assessments, review your results, then save and print your results.

Brief descriptions of the MCIS assessments are below:

Interest Profiler - This assessment can help you identify your interests and match them with a wide variety of careers. It doesn't tell you what you should be but organizes your interests in six broad categories of work.

SKILLS – This assessment helps you explore occupations that match your self-assessed skills. It also helps you recognize how you can transfer your skills between occupations.

Occupation Sort – This assessment is designed to let you say what you know about yourself, your likes and dislikes, and creates a list of occupations that match your preferences.

Work Importance Locator – This assessment can help you learn more about your work values and help you decide what kinds of jobs and careers you might want to explore.

Workplace Employability Skills – This assessment can help you evaluate your employability skills.

Reality Check -  As an adult, you need to pay for housing, food, clothes, transportation, and other items. Find out how much money you need to earn to cover your expenses. Then find out which occupations support this lifestyle.

Combined Report of Assessments – This is a report that combines the results of all your assessments to identify a pattern and narrow down particular career options based on your overall response to each assessment.          

Step Two: Research - Who Am I?

Part One:

Start researching what potential careers would suit your interests, values, and passions based on your MCIS results and reflection. The following resources offer valuable information on potential careers:

At the same time, explore the 90+ program options that SCTCC offers while reviewing your assessment results and other research: Degrees & Programs at SCTCC

Part Two:

Are you interested in one or more degree(s) or program(s)? Attend an information session to learn more about the program, courses, and meet faculty.

Consider conducting an informational interview with a faculty member or an employee in the career of your interest to discover a first-hand experience of what daily life is like in a job in your career of interest. Download a How-To guide on informational interviews.

Are you considering transferring?

Visit prospective transfer schools and meet with Admissions staff to discover transfer and program requirements. Admissions staff members from various transfer schools will also be on SCTCC’s campus throughout the year to answer your questions. Download a guide on how to approach transfer schools and items to consider when transferring.

Step Three: Evaluate Options - Where am I headed?

After the first two steps, assessing yourself and researching, now what? It is time to evaluate and reflect on everything leading up to this point. You are now at the most important part of career exploration.

Take time to review all research and assessment results. Utilize some evaluation tools such as a pro/con list or rubrics. Talk it through with family members and friends. SCTCC also has career advisors here to help. Contact a career advisor if you need help or would like to schedule an appointment:

  • Prospective students:

  • Current students:
    • Bretta Edwards, Academic Advising Center
      Phone: (320)308-5734
      *Please use Starfish to make appointments with Bretta

Step Four: The Decision - How will I get there?

Congratulations on selecting a career! This is the time to celebrate your new journey. In the meantime, we encourage you to start thinking about the immediate steps to get you on the right path towards your career. 

Prospective students: Apply to SCTCC, research the academic coursework that is required of your program or degree, and take the Accuplacer. Once accepted to SCTCC, meet with an advisor from the Academic Advising Center to discuss courses.

Current students: Meet with an advisor from the Academic Advising Center to discuss courses, research the academic coursework that is required of your program or degree, change your program, and take the Accuplacer (if needed).

Step Five: Prepare for Success - How will I get there?

As you start your journey to your career, it is important you to set yourself on the path to success. SCTCC offers several programs and resources, listed below, that provide additional support for students to be successful.

  • What skills do you need to acquire for your career? Refer back to the SKILLS assessment in MCIS. On the SKILLS assessment home page before you click to take the assessment, click “Occupation Select” for a list of all the occupations and careers in MCIS. Find your chosen occupation and click on it. There, you will find the top skills necessary to be successful in that occupation.
  • Visit Career Services for resume and job application help and to learn more about job fairs
  • Center for Academic Success for tutoring help in classes
  • Participate in the Success Skills program by attending a Success Skills Workshop or meeting with a Success Skills coach
  • Student services for those needing additional support
  • Looking to transfer? Learn the requirements for transferring to your school of choice and visit Transferology for a tentative evaluation of transfer credits

Feedback on Five Steps to Thrive

Thank you for participating in the Five Steps to Thrive! Click here to fill out a short questionnaire and provide feedback on how we can better improve this experience.


Minnesota Career Information Systems (MCIS) Spring 2018 Workshops

The MCIS tool can assist in identifying your career interests and values with five different career self-assessments. Come attend this hands-on workshop to dive into the tool with advisors there to help. 

No registration required for these workshops.

Want to get a jump start? See Step 1 on this page.

Monday, February 12: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m., Room 2-420

Monday, March 19: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m., Room 2-420

Wednesday, April 4: 4-5 p.m., Room 2-420

Exploring Careers and Majors

Need help deciding what your career should be? By attending an Exploring Careers and Majors, you'll learn about different career options and how to choose the career best for you.

Some of the things you can expect at these workshops:

  • Understand what exactly it means to be "undecided"
  • Receive an in depth overview of Five Steps to Thrive
  • Get started with a free career assessment tool MCIS (Minnesota Career Information System)
  • Arrange a follow-up one-on-one meeting with advisor or counselor
  • Tour various program areas to see what SCTCC has to offer

Seating for each meeting is limited, so sign up as soon as you can.

10:00 AM
3:00 PM

Get credit for these steps with the Career Exploration class

SCTCC offers a one-credit class called Career Exploration (CSSC 1300) that walks you through these steps.

Want to talk about your Career Exploration?


Both Academic Advising and Career Services are here to help.


Academic Advising
Bretta Edwards  |  320-308-5734


Career Services
Jackie Bauer  |  320-308-5486