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Career Services+ database offers career information in 500 areas

Nov. 12, 1997

Career Services' database offers career information in 500 areas

By Scott Karafin

Reporter for The Baylor Lariat

Students wandering aimlessly down the confusing path of an undecided major can now bring order to their world and even choose a possible career with the help of the computer-based career planning program located in the Baylor Career Services Center.

The program, called Discover, is on all Career Services Center computers and is updated with current data every year. Pam Doherty, assistant director of career development, said after updating the program this week there are now more than 500 occupations catalogued in the database.

Discover offers two ways to search for careers. The 'information only' search begins with a short test designed to narrow down a student's choices. Students are quizzed on desired income, preferred work setting, desired schedule and amount of physical demand wanted.

The program uses these and other questions to narrow a list of professions the student might be interested in. From here, in-depth information is available on all the selected careers ranging from salary to low points of the job.

The 'information only' section also offers students help with creating resumes and writing cover letters.

Students may enter their ID number and name as they enter the 'guidance' section in order to save all the information they input. In the 'guidance' section, students can look through various groupings of careers to find one they are most interested in. Next, students answer questions to find out their aptitudes and preferences. Again students can find out important information about prospective careers.

Doherty said she recommends Discover for all students.

'I suggest it for students who are undecided, as well as those who have a major,' she said. 'It gets them pointed in the right direction.'

It asks questions about skills, values, interests and experiences, she said.

'The profiles are very specific,' she said. 'It usually shows what they think it will show.'

John Boyd, director of career services, said Discover is a valuable tool for students who need direction.

'It provides them the opportunity to see how their value system fits into the workplace,' he said. 'The breadth of the database provides vast options and alternatives.'

Boyd said the software will soon be offered on CD ROM and he hopes to have it accessible through the Internet by next fall.

Carrie Ketcham, a West sophomore and undecided major, said she used Discover last year while looking for ideas.

'I thought it would give me direction,' she said. 'It was really long and it didn't really help.'

Despite still being without a major, Ketcham recommends Discover to students needing direction and thinks it is an important service.

'So many people are undecided,' she said. 'It can help give us an idea.'

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