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Embedding Career Development Into the Curriculum

All students are ultimately preparing for their next step after UT whether that is a full-time job or continuing education. While the Center for Career Development & Academic Exploration serves over 20,000 students a year, embedding career development into the curriculum is the only way to assure that all students are exposed to career development. The center encourages faculty to utilize the ideas below to weave career development into your syllabus and course assignments. Learn how Vol Core and common classroom assignments map to career readiness.

Please reach out to the center ( if you need assistance in creating or modifying an assignment. If you are planning to conduct an assignment that requires support from the center, please notify us ( with the following information:

  • Assignment Details
  • Assignment Deadline
  • Number of Students


We encourage faculty to assist students in connecting the dots between their coursework and skill development. The center utilizes the Career Competencies to help students understand what skills are expected by future employers. We recommend including career competencies in your syllabus to show students the skills they will develop through the course. 

Sample Syllabus with Competencies Included

Assignment Examples

The center has a variety of career assignments based on different career topics. We have organized the list below by career topic and recommend that you decide what will work best for your course.

The center has a variety of activities designed to help students reflect on what career competencies they possess and how to effectively articulate their skills and experiences to future employers. You can have students complete one of the following worksheets and lead a discussion around the career competencies. 


Assessments and inventories can increase students’ self-knowledge. Require students to take PathwayU or Typefocus and reflect on their interests, values, and personality as it relates to career decision making. Center staff can be scheduled to discuss assessment results in class.

PathwayU Understanding Your Assessment Results_Interests

TypeFocus Class Instructions

Research assignments on careers and industries associated with your course can help students connect their students to their career goals. Assign a paper or presentation and require students to utilize career resources provided by the Center for Career Development & Academic Exploration such as our Industry Pages, What Can I Do With This Major?, and other Featured Resources. 

Research Assignment

Learning from professionals in fields of interest can be a powerful career development activity for students to take. An informational interview is a chance to interview an employer about their job, company, and industry. Assign an informational interview to help students take advantage of insights only an insider can provide.

Informational Interview Assignment

Require or give extra credit to students who attend a job fair or other career event. The center hosts dozens of job fairs, networking events, career panels, and other workshops designed to help students explore career interests, meet alumni and employers, and gain access to opportunities. Ask students to reflect on their experience by sharing what they learned at the event or providing contact information/business cards for people they met at the event.

The center offers resources related to crafting a resume that communicates skills and experiences gained during college. Require students to create a resume utilizing the resume guide and have it critiqued by Peer Career Advisors at the Center for Career Development & Academic Exploration during Drop-In Hours. Please notify the center ( if you require a resume critique to help us prepare for demand.

Resume Assignment

Career Competencies Resume Worksheet

The ability to effectively communicate career interests, experiences, and competencies gained through job interviews is a skill that can be honed. The Vol Guide to Interviewing provides interview preparation information, lists of sample questions to expect, and guidance on providing responses. Lead a class discussion and peer to peer practice interview using the Career Competencies Interview Sheet or have students create a list of interview questions based on a job description they find. Or assign a practice interview to help your students get started improving their interviewing skills. Practice Interviews can be conducted several ways:

  • Big Interview is an online system that allows students to practice their interview skills from anywhere online as long as you have access to a webcam. Instructors can create their own practice interview class assignments in the system. Here is an instructor and student user guide to help you get started with Big Interview.
  • Scheduled with a Peer Career Advisor on Handshake. Please notify the center ( if you plan to utilize this class assignment to help us prepare for demand.

Handshake is the university’s comprehensive job board for part-time jobs, on-campus jobs, undergraduate research opportunities, internships, and full-time positions. All students (undergraduate and graduate) have an account with their NetID. 

Require students to activate and complete their Handshake profile. 

Require students to find three jobs of interest and analyze what parts about the position or organization appeal to them. Students tell us they want to connect their majors to careers, and this is a concrete way for them to see the types of positions available to them upon graduation.

Connecting with other professionals through LinkedIn is a useful tool to explore career interests and sourcing job opportunities. Require your students to create a LinkedIn profile and have it reviewed by a Peer Career Advisor during Drop-In Hours

LinkedIn Assignment