How Do I Choose A Career?

Have you ever heard of The Holland Codes or Holland’s Theory of Vocational Choice? I hadn’t until recently, but it’s apparently one of the most used theories for career development.

Based on the information I found at and, Holland’s theory is based, in part, on an assumption that most people fit into one of six personality types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, or Conventional. Each personality type has certain characteristics. If you can match your personal characteristics to a job type and work environment you will be happier in your job and more successful.

In reality, most people will be a combination of two or more of these personality types, but understanding yourself – what you are good at and what you enjoy doing – should help you choose a career, and which program you should study in college.

For example, the Realistic personality type is described as someone who likes physical work, taking action to solve problems, and someone who usually avoids tasks that require interpersonal and verbal skills. Careers in farming, automobile repair or manufacturing, where the person can be very hands-on, build things, grow plants, work with animals, or use tools and machines might be a good match.

Female student operating robotic arm.

On the other hand, someone who fits into the Social category prefers interacting with other people, has strong verbal skills and finds satisfaction in helping people. For people who fit into this category, careers in areas such as teaching, nursing, or counseling should probably be considered.

The key to using Holland’s theory or any other personality self-assessment is to be honest with yourself about what your skill sets are and the types of environments you enjoy. The results may not be 100 percent correct, but if it helps point you in the right direction it’s worth doing.

There’s a lot of information out there about choosing a career. It’s a big decision, whether you are in high school or you have been in the work force for years and want to make a change. Take some time to do a little research.

Another resource where you may find helpful information on planning and preparing for a career is the North Carolina Career Clusters Guide.

Once you have an idea which careers you would like to explore, visit and check out our programs and courses. If you have questions about getting started at CCC contact us at or 704-669-4081.

Engineering A Bright Future

At Cleveland Community College we have so many wonderful success stories. So, from time-to-time we will share stories from our students and alumni about their personal goals and how they reached them. 

jason_headshot_webJason Kubu graduated from high school in 2005. From there he journeyed to Appalachian State University, but soon realized Boone’s winters were not for him. He returned home and got a job working in the retail industry, but by 2008 found himself out of a job when the effects of the recession caused the business to close. He decided it was time for a change. “I was tired of working in retail and knew that I needed an education to open doors into other fields.”

Eventually, Jason made his way to CCC and in 2014 he graduated with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Computer Aided Drafting and Design. He says, “The knowledge of Solid Works I gained from taking computer-aided design classes at CCC was largely responsible for me landing a job as a draftsman.” He goes on to say that once he started working his company supported him by paying his tuition and allowing him to leave work when necessary to attend classes. “As my education advanced so did my position and role within the company.”

He continued his studies online through East Carolina University, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology with a Concentration in Manufacturing Systems and a minor in Industrial Technology Management. “The program at ECU was designed to accommodate transfer students with an AAS degree,” he says. “Knowledge of online systems like Blackboard and communicating with instructors via email, were critical to my success as a distance education student working in Cleveland County while attending a school on the other side of the state.”

Today, Jason works as a manufacturing engineer at a company in Kings Mountain. As part of his duties he is in charge of plant layout, designing equipment to make the jobs of workers in the plant easier and more efficient, and providing cost analysis.

Looking back he says, “If I could go back to when I graduated high school in 2005 and go straight to CCC and go down the path of a two-year transfer student I would in a heartbeat. The level of education provided by the classes at CCC is on the same level as that from four-year institutions, but at a fraction of the costs.

“CCC was enjoyable because the class size was small and allowed you to get quality one-on-one time with the instructors.  The core classes for the degree also kept you with a group of students pursuing the same degree, which helped to build good relationships and provide a good support system.  Bruce Mack was also a great advisor and instructor and his support working with students and the community to fill jobs was commendable.”

Once his daughter is older, Jason plans to go back to school again and earn a master’s degree.

Are you like Jason? Do you find yourself at a crossroads? Could going back to school provide you with a more promising career? Check out the on-campus and on-line course options at Like Jason, you might discover the beginnings of a brand new career.


A Healthcare Career: Is It Right for You?

Do you think you would like to work in the healthcare field?

It’s a great option that offers opportunities for fulfilling careers. The number of jobs in healthcare-related occupations are expected to grow over the next eight years by about 19 percent, adding around 2 million new jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Most people think of doctors and nurses first, but there are many other careers available in healthcare including nurse aides, athletic trainers, radiologic technologists, medical assistants, medical lab technicians, phlebotomists, surgical technologists, emergency medical technicians, dentists, dental hygienists, therapists, and even veterinary technicians and veterinarians.


The level of education required for these careers varies but many need less than four years of college. Salary ranges vary as well, from around $20,000 per year up to more than $100,000 per year.

Given all of that information, a career in healthcare definitely sounds good, right? The key is to figure out whether it’s the right career for you. Choosing a career isn’t just about finding a job and making money, although I won’t argue those are important too.

You also want to find a career that suits you, and a job you won’t dread going to every day. Just because your best friend wants to be a nurse doesn’t mean that’s the right career for you too. Spend some time thinking about your personal strengths, interests and personality traits and consider whether a healthcare career would be a good fit for you.

For example, most careers in healthcare require strong math and science skills. It also helps to have critical thinking skills, the ability to actively listen, and a desire to work with and help other people.

Choosing a career pathway is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, it’s a lot more fun and a lot less like work if you really enjoy what you do for a living. Below are some links to help you get started exploring a career in healthcare.

Check out CCC’s Allied Health Programsthe Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the NC Career Clusters Guide.