Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Economics and Decision Sciences
Career Development Program
The Career Development Program is a voluntary program. The objectives of the program are
- to encourage student self-assessment
- to encourage student involvement in enhancing the quality of their own education
- to increase student contact with faculty and other economics students
- to strengthen advising, and
- to prepare students for a successful job search
This program is NOT just for juniors and seniors. It is intended to be part of an ongoing process, beginning in the freshman year, whereby you develop your professional skills.
At least once every semester, there will be a Career Development Meeting. Part of each meeting will include a discussion of professional skills based on what placement experts say are the critical skills for economists.
The five skills areas are:
- knowledge in the major
- quantitative skills
- analytical or critical thinking skills
- computer skills, and
- communication skills
For each skill area, we will advise you on how to identify evidence to demonstrate that you have mastered the skill. Evidence might include grades in certain key courses, papers written in classes, and projects you have done. In addition, we will discuss how out of class activities can be incorporated into a portfolio to use in developing your resume. These activities might include participation in organizations, jobs, and hobbies.
We will also distribute the handout called "Courses to Enhance Professional Skills". This handout will help you and your advisor select those courses which will contribute most to the development of your critical skills. This handout also covers some non-credit programs that you might consider participating in to enhance your skills. Included is a discussion of the role extracurricular activities can play in your educational and career development. The recommendations in this handout are especially relevant since they are based on comments from our alumni surveys.
Finally, we will provide you with extensive information on a variety of resources and programs available to you. These include the University Writing Center, resume workshops and production services, placement services, time management workshops, study skills workshops, computer services and workshops, tutorial labs, and library services.
While the Career Development Program is voluntary, we hope that you will take advantage of it. Should you desire additional information on this or any other matter connected with majoring in Economics, do not hesitate to stop by.
Dr. Tej Kaul, Professor and Chair
Department of Economics and Decision Sciences
Stipes Hall 430
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455