Plan your career path

At the heart of the career planning process is knowing yourself, understanding your options and engaging in meaningful experiences. The  following Career Planner workbook and Exploring Occupations Library are our top tools to support students in their planning. 

Career Planner workbook

This workbook can help you to connect your subject preferences, interests, personality, and values to occupational options through reflective exercises and online assessments.

Exploring occupations library

Our library showcases over 200 occupations, providing occupational descriptions, educational requirements, labour market information, job banks and opportunities to engage with professional organizations.

Good career planning requires information about you, the world of work and a commitment to take action. It all starts with you: knowing yourself, exploring your options, making thoughtful decisions, setting short- and long-term goals, and taking the steps to achieve these goals.

Be Intentional about managing your learning, work and leisure activities to inform your way forward. Stay open, be curious, try a variety of things and then reflect, so you understand why you are taking the direction you are taking. 

The following activities may help you on your journey.

Knowing yourself

You are the expert in what you need and want in your career! The more you know about your interest, skills, values, and abilities the more likely you'll be able to make choices consistent with who you are.

Starting with the self-assessment process can help you to identify suitable occupational options and/or increase your confidence by confirming that you are on the right career path.

View the questions below to see if this section is really for you. This section will help you better understand your values, skills, interests, abilities and personal characteristics (from the Canadian Career Development Foundation Career Planning Guide).

Is this section really for you?

  • I am clear about my values and what is important to me?  
    No / Sort of / Yes
  • I know my personal characteristics?
    No / Sort of / Yes
  • I am clear about my interests?
    No / Sort of / Yes
  • I can name occupations that interest me and align with my current understanding of myself?
    No / Sort of / Yes

If you did not answer a full yes to one or more of these questions completing one or more of the activities in this section could be useful to you. If you answered yes to all you may wish to move to the section on Exploring Your Options.


It's up to choose a career that's "right" for you. To start your journey you will need to have a good idea about who you are and the activities you enjoy. This information will give you a foundation for making your career and life decisions.

It is important and can be extremely helpful to look for a relationship between your values, interests, strengths, talents, personal characteristics and your current or past occupational considerations.

Key considerations / things you will want to think about are:

You might also take a look at our Career Planner (PDF).

Exploring your options

Good career decisions require good information—about your personal traits and preferences and about the world of work. Now that you have completed the self-exploration activities and identified some career alternatives it's time to gather information about the world of work. Information about jobs, occupations and employment prospects is called labour market information (LMI).

LMI can be found everywhere; Government departments, sector councils, newspapers and professional associations publish great information. To help you start exploring we've compiled information for you on approximately two hundred occupations. Thousands more exist! To explore education and training options we've put together a listing of several different training institutions. Be creative when thinking about potential career and educational options. And be curious! Remember—good research can lead to more satisfying career decisions!

View the questions below to see if this section is really for you. This section will help you better understand the labour market – job descriptions, educational requirements, employment requirements, wages, trends and outlooks (from the Canadian Career Development Foundation Career Planning Guide).

Is this section really for you?

  • I know where to look for information on occupations?  
    No / Sort of / Yes
  • I know what pieces of information are important to making a career decision?
    No / Sort of / Yes
  • I know websites that have the occupational information I need and I can find that information on the sites?
    No / Sort of / Yes
  • I know how to use my network of family and friends for information?
    No / Sort of / Yes
  • I know how to find employers and working professionals to interview for information on occupations?
    No / Sort of / Yes
  • I know the occupation I want to pursue and am ready to make an action plan to achieve this goal?
    No / Sort of / Yes

If you did not answer a full yes to one or more of these questions completing one or more of the activities in this section could be useful to you. If you answered yes to all you may wish to move to the section on Making Decisions.

Occupational Research

Use the Career Research Worksheet found on page 27 of A Guide to Planning Your Career (Manitoba Career Development) to document your occupational research. We recommend you research at least three to four career alternatives that interest you. Gathering and reflecting on this information will help you to feel confident in making a well-informed decision.

Personal contacts are also extremely valuable, often providing "up-close and personal" views of occupations. Once you have narrowed down your career options consider using mentoring and job shadowing programs to gain additional information to help guide your decision. Checkout the Career Mentor Program to connect with industry professionals for informational interviews that will help you formulate your career plans. Career Mentors share information about their occupations and offer practical, timely career advice. Use the interview notes worksheet on page 48 of the Canadian Career Development Foundation Career Decision-Making Guide to document your findings.

Making decisions

You have gained a better understanding of yourself and have researched several career options using labour market information and personal contacts – it's time to make some decisions! Be aware that the decisions you make now don't have to be perfect or set in stone. The decision you make is only the best it can be based on what you know about yourself and the labour market at this moment (Canadian Career Development Foundation Career Planning Guide). As you participate in classes, job and volunteer opportunities, and other experiential learning, you will discover more about the world of work and about you. What's most important is that you take the time to reflect on these experiences – What you liked and didn't like? What opportunities you were drawn to? How what you have learned and experienced might impact your plan and maximize opportunities?

View the questions below to see if this section is really for you. This section will help you evaluate the career opportunities you have researched and select a starting point for your career journey (from the Canadian Career Development Foundation Career Planning Guide).

Is this section really for you?

  • I have made a decision on the career path I will start on?
    No / Sort of / Yes

If you did not answer a full yes to this question completing one or more of the activities in this section could be useful to you. If you answered yes you may wish to move to the section on Setting Goals.

Career Decision Making Profile

Before you get started, it could be helpful to understand what type of decision maker you are. Do you require a lot of information? Do you seek the advice of others or do you make decisions fast and with little information? The following tool will help you assess your decision making style and make recommendations to help balance your approach to decision making.

Career Decision Making Profile (External Resource -

Evaluating Options

Career decision making can be challenging and as a result individuals may put it off, or take minimal time to review options. There are several decisions to be made within the career planning process including:

  • the field you want to enter,
  • the training institution you will attend, and
  • what paid/unpaid experiences you want to engage in

When making decisions about each of these aspects, focus on the competencies (knowledge, skills and attributes) you want to develop. Decision making that is thoughtful and reflective will lead to a more satisfying career choice.

You have likely started to identify occupations that are in line with your vision for the future. Once you have narrowed it down to three or four pathways start to compare occupational options with the results from your self-exploration. Use the template provided to evaluate each option and choose a career and educational path you would like to focus on.

Career Decision-Making Chart Page 33 (External Resource - Manitoba Career Development A Guide to Planning Your Career)

Setting goals

You have completed self-assessments, researched career options and decided on a career path, the next step is to set goals and create an action plan.

View the questions below to see if this section is really for you. This section will help you create an action plan to achieve your short and long term career goals (from the Canadian Career Development Foundation Career Planning Guide).

Is this section really for you?

  • I have a plan or road map in place that will guide my actions?
    No / Sort of / Yes
  • I have identified goals that are specific, measureable, achievable, relevant and time-limited?
    No / Sort of / Yes
  • I have identified both long and short term goals to help me get to my preferred future?
    No / Sort of / Yes

If you did not answer a full yes to these questions, completing one or more of the activities in this section could be useful to you. If you answered yes to all questions you may wish to move to the section on Implementing My Plan.

Your action plan should include both short-term (achievable in one year or less) and long-term goals (achievable 1-5 years) and a plan to ensure you are taking advantage of opportunities, reflecting on your experiences, celebrating successes and making adjustments to meeting your overall objectives or clarifying your focus. Once you have identified short and long term goals, identify action steps that will help you achieve the goals. Ensure that you are realistic about the time and effort necessary for each step.

Remember to consider challenges you might face along the way so you can plan in advance how to address these and access support as necessary. While you are action planning keep in mind your "Plan B" or parallel plan so you can adapt seamlessly if necessary.

Action Planning Resources (PDF)

Implementing your plan

It's time to start working toward your career vision and implementing your plan.

View the questions below to see if this section is really for you. This section will help you implement your career plan and address challenges you may experience along the way (from the Canadian Career Development Foundation Career Planning Guide).

Is this section really for you?

  • I have an action plan that is ready for implementation?  
    No / Sort ofYes
  • I have identified a "Plan B" to remain adaptable?  
    No / Sort ofYes
  • I have identified potential challenge and possible supports to address these challenges should they arise?  
    No / Sort ofYes

If you did not answer a full yes to these questions we suggest you move to the section on Setting Goals.

Accessing Supports

During the implementation process it is important to access all the supports available to you. Consider your personal network - family, friends, teachers and professors as well as supports within the university community – Career Services, Academic Learning Centre, Academic Advisors, and Student Counselling Centre to mention a few.

Visit your plan often to evaluate whether you are still on track, celebrate successes and determine if any changes are required. Assess what you have learned from the activities you have engaged in and determine if your plan needs to be adjusted based on this new information about you, your preferences and things you are drawn to.

As you get closer to your identified long term goals you may be able to add additional action items and identify new opportunities and supports to help you achieve your goals.

If at any time you feel stuck or unsure how to get where you want to go contact Career Services. If you have already accessed our services call for an individual appointment.

Career Compass

The Career Compass is a guide to supports, services and experiences to maximize your academic and career success.

Please note: the Career Compass list is not exhaustive. Refer to the Academic Calendar for a complete list of programs offered at the University of Manitoba. Career consultants and academic advisors are available to help you develop your career and academic plan.

Access one-to-one support

Meet with a career consultant

Talking to someone about who you are and what you want out of your life can help to clarify what comes next in your career journey. Whether you are completely unsure about what is out there or just want more information about an occupation, you can meet with a career consultant for a confidential discussion about career planning.

Career consultants help you figure out your future—by helping you connect your interests to occupations, determine the degree path that suits your unique occupational goals, make informed career choices, find experiential learning opportunities, or build excellent job search strategies.

In-person and Virtual Appointments:

Student support will be provided in-person or through telephone, e-mail and video conferencing. If you require assistance, please contact our office to make an appointment. Same day drop-in support may be provided; please call to inquire. 

Fort Gary campus: 474 UMSU University Centre, Phone: 204-474-9456, E-mail:   Spring and Summer term drop-in times to meet with a career consultant:  Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday afternoons with intake between 1:30 to 3:30pm  |  Thursday and Friday mornings with intake from 9 to 11am.
Note : Drop-in cancelled Friday, July 19, 2024

If you are a recent graduate, student in ICM or Extended Education, please contact us by phone or e-mail to learn about resources or schedule an appointment. All other current students may phone to book an appointment or log in to UMConnect to use the self-serve booking option. 

If you are a student studying at the Bannatyne campus, you may also call:
Student Services at Bannatyne: S211 Medical Services Building, 204-272-3190

Talk to an academic advisor

Your career and academic plans are intertwined. Academic Advisors in your faculty will assist you as you navigate program options and plan your course selection. They provide academic guidance and can support your academic success.

Find your advisor

Exploring Educational Options

University of Manitoba

Undergraduate Calendar

Graduate Calendar (Masters, PhD programs)

University 1 First Year Planning Guide - for first year and incoming students

Viewbook (Undergraduate Admissions) - for prospective students

Student Guide - education support services provided at the U of M

Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions

Universities Canada - search programs at Canadian Universities

Colleges and Institutes Canada - listing of Degrees & Post Graduate Programs

Education Planning - Government of Canada - search 'Designated Education Institutions' & 'Find programs and schools'

National Association of Career Colleges - list of Canadian members

Canadian Post-secondary Institutions- searchable database from SchoolFinder

Provincial and Territorial Sites

Explore Your Post-Secondary Options In British Columbia (searchable database)

Post-Secondary Institutions in Alberta - searchable database

Post-Secondary Institutions in Saskatchewan - (list)

Post-Secondary Institutions in Manitoba (list)

Universities in Ontario (searchable database)

Colleges in Ontario (searchable database)

Universities in Quebec (searchable database)

CEGEP in Quebec (searchable database)

Post-secondary Institutions in New Brunswick (list)

Post-secondary Institutions In Nova Scotia (searchable database)

Post-secondary Institutions in Prince Edward Island (

Aurora College in the NWT

Yukon College in Yukon Territory

Nunavut Arctic College

American College/University Databases

Accreditation Database - U.S. Department of Education Office of Post-Secondary Education

American Universities - from the University of Texas at Austin

Peterson's College Search Engine - U.S. undergraduate and graduate programs


America's Best Colleges - from US News and World Report

Maclean's Rankings of Canadian Universities

University Reputation Rankings - from Times Higher Education

Distance Education

Alberta Learning Information Services - Distance Learning: Make It Work for You

Athabasca University - A distance and online learning university - Distance education directory for B.C.

Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials - Online and distance education in Canada (distance ed. selection option within search results)

Canadian Universities - Distance education at Canadian Universities - A searchable database of courses at many Canadian Universities

University Admissions in Canada - FAQ about Open and Distance Universities in Canada

Distance Education Links - from the Ontario Ministry of Education

Guide to Online Schools - Online college directory for online degrees, online universities, and online schools

Graduate Guide Distance Learning - A directory of Online Graduate Programs in the United States and Canada

Province of Manitoba Distance Education - College and university distance education courses in Manitoba

Thompson Rivers University - A distance and online learning university

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

Post-Secondary Education & Skills Training Programs in Manitoba with ACCESS or Equity Initiatives

Brandon University

Brandon University Northern Teachers Education Program (BUNTEP)
An off-campus Bachelor of Education degree program serving the North

University of Manitoba

ACCESS and Aboriginal Focus Programs
The University of Manitoba Access Program provides holistic support to students choosing to begin an academic journey

  • Engineering ACCESS Programs (ENGAP)
    • ENGAP is a program designed to provide persons of Aboriginal ancestry with access to university studies leading to a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering at the University of Manitoba
  • Faculty of Social Work
    • Fort Garry Program - Educational Equity
      • Information related to Educational Equity for Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, people who are of visible minority groups, persons who self-identify as part of the LGBTTQ* community, immigrants, and refugees - and who are interested in applying to the Faculty of Social Work
    • Inner City Social Work Program
      • Located at 485 Selkirk Avenue - this BSW program is an ACCESS program, designed to support students who have traditionally faced systemic barriers common to inner-city life experience such as poverty, racism, school failure and marginalization, all factors preventing accessibility to post-secondary education
    • Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Distance Delivery Program
      • Portage Cohort - Distance delivery BSW program, in partnership with Southern First Nations Network of Care, offered in Portage la Prairie -Michif Cohort- Distance delivery BSW program, in partnership with Metis Child & Family Services Authority, with Child and Family Services Concentration using blended learning format with face to face classes held in Dauphin

Manitoba Family Services and Labour

Skills Training Skills Training usually involves occupational/vocational classroom-based training, it can also include on-the-job or apprenticeship training. Employment skills related to self-employment ventures are also part of this area

Red River Community College - ACCESS Programs

The ACCESS Model Program is designed to provide admission to specific Red River College programs for low-income residents of Manitoba who have not had the opportunity to participate or succeed in college education because of social, economic, or cultural factors, formal education, or geographical location (inaccessibility to post-secondary institutions) 

The University College of the North

An institution devoted to community and northern development and reflects the Aboriginal reality and cultural diversity of northern Manitoba.

University of Winnipeg - Community Based Aboriginal Teacher Program (CATEP)

In partnership with Seven Oaks and Winnipeg School Divisions, Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Education Program for Aboriginal people who are working as teacher aides. Students must be employed by Seven Oaks or Winnipeg School Divisions

Winnipeg Education Centre (WEC)

An off-campus extension of the University of Winnipeg’s integrated Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Education Program – designed to provide academic opportunities for residents of Winnipeg’s inner city, as well as single parents, mature students, and immigrants

Massive Open Online Courses

Coursera - is a global online learning platform, that offers a diverse range of learning opportunities including professional certificates 

LinkedIn Learning - provides video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative, and business skills. The Winnipeg Public Library offers residents of Winnipeg access to LinkedIn learning courses through their library membership 

Data Camp- an online learning opportunity to learn AI and data skills 

edX- an American MOOC provider, founded by Harvard and MIT, offers diverse university-level courses online to students worldwide, including some free courses.


Mentorship and Networking