The activities and subjects you enjoy, the skills you want to strengthen and use, and the things you prioritize in life are all important when determining your academic and professional plan. This page includes exercises to help you identify your interests, skills, and values in order to evaluate majors and career paths based on what is meaningful to you and what will motivate you.


Some students can name something they’re passionate about, but that’s not the case with everyone. Generating a list of your interests may begin with reflecting on pleasant experiences.

  • Write down enjoyable or intellectually stimulating activities you’ve been part of in school, work, volunteering, or leisure time, and include why you found the experience enjoyable.
  • List topics that catch your attention when you’re in conversation, reading, watching shows, etc.
  • If you could learn more about something just for fun, what would that be?
  • Do your interests relate more to data, ideas, people, or physical things?
  • Do you see themes among your responses? Can you separate leisure interests from those that might relate to your academic or professional plans?

You may find it beneficial to identify areas of interest through the Career Clusters Survey. You can filter UA majors by career clusters similar to ones from the survey. Make a list of the majors you would like to learn more about, then click the link to each to review the required courses.

In which major(s) did you identify the most interesting courses? What about these courses interests you? What skills do you think you might use and strengthen in these courses?


Identifying your strengths as well as the skills you would like to develop will give you direction as you’re researching majors and career paths. As you read descriptions of careers, consider whether or not you will have opportunities to utilize the skills you enjoy most.

The Career One-Stop Skills Matcher allows you to rate your skill level on 40 workplace activities. Though your skill level may not be high if your experience is limited, you may recognize skills you would like to continue developing. The work activities interest profiler is another assessment that allows you to rate work activities according to your interest in performing them.

When reviewing the results of these assessments, keep in mind that the careers presented are simply ones you may want to research further. You can learn more about careers through resources like CandidCareer and Career One Stop.

You may have to declare a major before you’re able to identify the careers you might like to pursue. If you do not yet have a career in mind, then you can research careers that relate to different majors and develop an understanding of how majors can prepare you for different career paths.

The resource, What Can I Do with This Major? offers ideas of possible careers associated with each major.


As you research careers, think about your career non-negotiables or values. While the career priorities you have now may change through the years, they should always be evaluated when making decisions about career paths, specific jobs, and organizations/work environments.  Our values exercise challenges you to rank the factors you believe to be important for your career. Be sure to copy your results so you can refer to them as you’re exploring majors and careers, or when you meet with a career consultant.

If after doing these self-assessment exercises, you would like additional guidance on exploring majors and career paths, please schedule an appointment to talk with a Career Consultant. Current UA students can schedule an appointment through Handshake. Incoming first-year students can email us at