Students

Explore your career choices

Find the career choice currently best for you, such as:

There are potential pluses (+) and minuses (-) associated with each career choice, that need to be evaluated, when picking the career choice currently best for you.

  • Explore all the career choices, that are currently best for you
  • Objectively consider the pluses & minuses of each available choice
  • Be comfortable with your current  best  choice

Management vs. project management

Management Project management
Plus Minus Plus Minus
Able to do more work through others May see more bureaucracy & meetings Get to work closely with small teams Not in on management decision making
May have more responsibility & impact No longer completing the projects yourself Get to focus on interesting problems May not get to make strategic plans
Can provide coaching & strategic thinking   Work has a lot of variety  

Consulting vs. staff position

Consulting

Staff position

Plus Minus Plus Minus
Can work in a variety of industries Considerable travel & work out of town Much of work is regular hours & stable May have to attend lots of meetings
Can work on a wide variety of projects Long hours & promotions may be limited   Get to know a company & products well Some work may be fairly repetitive
Excellent pay   More opportunities for promotion  

External consulting vs. internal consulting

External consulting

Internal consulting

Plus Minus Plus Minus
Can work in a variety of industries Considerable travel & work out of town Get to know the company’s products May be vulnerable to mergers & layoffs
Can work on a wide variety of projects Long hours & promotions may be limited   Can develop expertise within the company Type of work may be more limiting
Excellent pay   Stable work & may travel less  

Current employer vs. new employer

Current employer

New employer

Plus Minus Plus Minus
You already know the company & products The company may not appreciate your work New opportunity for growth & learning Not easy changing jobs & new managers
Your skills & background may be in demand The company may be in trouble Your skills might be better appreciated May have to relocate or do a longer commute
You may have good opportunities for promotions   Work may be challenging, leading to raises  

Current industry vs. new industry

Current industry

New industry

Plus Minus Plus Minus
You already have knowledge of this industry Your current industry may not be healthy May offer you more opportunities You may have to relocate
Your experience will transfer to other companies You don’t like working in your current industry You are excited about a new industry Your skills & experience may not transfer
You like your current industry   You have friends that enjoy this industry  

Large company vs. small company

Large company

Small company

Plus Minus Plus Minus
There are a lot of positions you qualify for It may be easy to get lost in a large company You may get to do a lot of different things The company may have fewer benefits
It may be easier to go into management The bureaucracy may be hard to deal with The decision making will be more nimble You may be the only industrial engineer
It is easier to work projects in groups You can see the work you do more easily

Local work vs. relocate

Local work Relocate
Plus Minus Plus Minus
You already know the area you live in The local economy may be doing poorly You get to move to a new area It can be expensive to relocate
You don’t have to move your family You don’t like the city where you currently live New opportunities if you move It can be disruptive for your family
You like the area you live in currently   You like the new city better  

Owner vs. employee

Owner

Employee

Plus Minus Plus Minus
As an owner you can make all the key decisions You may have to work very long hours You may enjoy what the company does You may not get wealthy from your work
You can feel proud of your company You may have limited benefits & high risk You get to work with a variety of teams You may not like your current boss
You can take risks & be inventive   You may have good benefits  

Current career vs. different career

Current career

Different career

Plus Minus Plus Minus
You have good experience in this career Your career is not progressing A different career interests you You may not be as good in a new career
You are making good progress You don’t enjoy your current career You are ready to try something different You may be starting over
You are still learning a lot   You have been preparing for a new career  

Graduate school vs. self-study

Graduate school

Self-study

Plus Minus Plus Minus
You can learn a lot from a grad school It is expensive & may require student loans You can control what you read & study It may be difficult to learn on your own
Your job requires an advanced degree You may have to relocate You can get a lot of key information quickly You may not receive a diploma or degree
You will enjoy the immersive learning experience   You can take courses online  

Part-time school vs. full-time school

Part-time school

Full-time grad school

Plus Minus Plus Minus
You can still keep your current job & salary It may limit any travel assignments at work You may enjoy the immersive learning You may need student loans
Your company may pay for grad school It takes a long time & some long work/study days You will finish the degree quicker You give up current job salary & advances
You won’t fall behind on promotions at work   You may know the professors better