Frequently Asked Questions for Students

While not unlawful to request an applicant's SSN, due to identity theft and general privacy concerns, employers generally should not request this information on an employment application form as an employment application is often viewed by individuals who do not have a need to know this information. An employment application should request only information directly related to an applicant’s ability to perform a specific job. As a general practice, employers should request SSN information only when absolutely necessary, e.g., in conjunction with a background check, completing a W-4, or when enrolling the employee into benefits plans. This information should be requested separate from the employment application, and safeguards should be in place to protect and keep this information confidential. Employers should also implement procedures for safe disposal of this information once an employment decision has been made. (Society for Human Resource Management)

We recommend viewing the winter or fall salary reports available through the National Association of Colleges and Universities (NACE). Click HERE for other resources to salary information.

For basic enrollment facts and information, check the UCSB Budget and Planning's Institutional Research website or the main UCSB campus website.

Your user name and password allows you to browse part-time and full-time jobs by job functional areas. You can also preview upcoming company campus interviews (primarily in the fall and winter quarters), watch for information sessions presented on campus by our employers, store your resumes/cover letters as you apply for jobs, and track your internship progress. You can read more about GauchoLink on the website or come by the Career Services building to talk to our Career Reference Room peers.

No, you are welcome to utilize our printed resources located in a separate section of the Career Resources Room during regular hours. For quick questions, we also provide a drop-in advising service Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm in the same location.

Students seeking assistance with academic or non-academic job search materials or strategies and interview practice may schedule an hour appointment with a career counselor by calling 893-4412, or by stopping by the lobby desk at Career Services, Bldg. 599. When classes are in session, counselors are available for appointments Monday-Friday, 8:30am to noon and 1:00pm to 4:30pm, with the last scheduled appointment at 4:00pm. You can also take advantage of our walk-in counseling in the Career Resource Room from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Walk-in counseling with a career counselor or peer advisor is usually limited to about 10 minutes.

Hours: When school is in session, our hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. During the lunch hour, our counseling office are closed, but we do have student and staff employees in the Career Resource Room. We can be reached at (805) 893-4412. Refer to our Contact Page more hours of operation information.

Location: Career Services is located in Building 599, between Storke Tower and the Humanities & Social Studies Building. We are a one story, pink and green trim adobe style building. The Career Resource Room is located just past the Career Services front desk. Search for "Counseling & Career Services" (E3) on Campus Map.

Many students prefer to take a break after their bachelor's degree for a number of reasons, e.g., to travel, to earn money for graduate school, to gain work experience, or to take some time to clarify their career and academic goals before committing to a graduate program. Any one of these reasons is valid. Graduate schools accept students right out of undergraduate school as well as people who have not seen the inside of a university for fifteen years. It is more important that the "timing" of graduate school fit your career and personal time clock. However, some graduate schools will not accept students without some previous work experience; this will be clearly stated in their application literature. Some programs will state that the programs "prefer" students who have had work experience. It is a good idea to clarify this statement directly with the graduate school prior to making applying.

Yes. It is a good idea to contact the graduate admissions committee to find out how you can strengthen your application for the following year. Your candidacy for admissions will be considered anew, and your application will be reviewed and ranked on the merits of the new applications that are received for that year.

No. More often than not, your reasons for pursuing graduate study will be to gain further expertise in your undergraduate discipline, but it is not mandatory that you study the same discipline. In the case of Law, Social Work, Public Health, and Medicine, for example, there are no corresponding undergraduate disciplines. The entering graduate class will contain a wide variety of undergraduate majors and experiences. However, the graduate school may require you to take the core undergraduate courses within the discipline before considering your application. This information can be obtained from the university's application information, or by writing the school directly.

Most people apply to somewhere between three and eight graduate schools, with five being the average number of applications submitted. Your preliminary research on graduate schools should give you an idea of the number of applications received versus the number of students accepted by each graduate school. This information will help you determine how many applications will give you the highest possibility of acceptance into a graduate program.

The critical thing is to confirm in writing either way you go. This can be done by mail or email. It is important to ask for time to evaluate and discuss your offer with those you trust before automatically accepting. Once you accept, it is unethical to decline if a better offer comes along unless there are compelling reasons. The employer is also expected to live up to it’s written offer that was made. The Riley Guide website collects and shares many articles on evaluating and negotiating job offeres.

In most cases, you are no longer eligible to do internship after graduation. The only exceptions will be in the public sector with government or non-government organizations typically located in Washington D.C. or New York City. See our Post-BA Internship web section located under “INTERNSHIPS”. 

Most employers expect at least a two to three year commitment. If you know for sure you will be leaving within the year, you may wish to seek a more temporary position or consider other options for that year before graduate school.

One of the many wonderful things about a liberal arts degree is that there are only a few careers that are NOT available. Engineering is probably out of the question. But nearly everything else is possible. If a UCSB philosophy undergraduate has been, in addition to his or her studies, developing computer and business skills, they can land a career position in real estate, banking, and even computer programming. Employers are very interested in what our students have been doing outside of class.

The highest success rate is the place closest to your heart and home—friends and family are the very best sources of valuable job leads. After that, GauchoLink is good, because it is the official job-hunting site for our university as well as several other colleges and universities linked into our system via the NACElink network.

In general, a larger firm will offer a more structured training program with a more specific assignment. A smaller firm often allows for you to wear several hats very quickly, but may expect you to learn as you go. Some of us prefer the more structured, formal, hierarchical work place of the larger organization versus those that like the informality and flexibility of a smaller one.

Career Services specializes in helping you if you are not sure what to do. We have great career resources and counselors who can help you to tap in to your interests and passions. We will help also you make a game plan for your career. We strongly recommend internships, information interviews, and our career assessment program until then.

The average job search ranges between three to six months. Many experts consider looking for a job a full-time job in and of itself. For this reason, many students choose to focus their job search efforts after graduation while finishing summer school and choose continue in their part-time position or simply take a “survival job” through a temp agency until they are clearer on what they want.

For students seeking employment with large companies and government agencies that recruit on-campus, fall quarter is the best time to begin your search by participating in the Campus Interview Program. Keep in mind less than 25% of our students get jobs through this program. Many smaller firms or high demand industries will advertise through the Internet or through their professional networks closer to when they need to fill the position. For this reason, spring quarter is the time to start seriously looking at options and applying.

Finding the experience that best meets your needs takes time, energy, careful planning and research. Many employers begin to identify their summer employment needs in early January. Start now.

Most students are more interested in the experience, but some want the chance to combine what they're learning in the classroom with the experience. Most departments require students to have upper-class standing before they are eligible to receive academic credit for an internship experience. Note that many UCSB departments do not offer academic credit for internships. Review the "Earning Academic Credit" page for more infomation.

Many great experiences are volunteer or involve a small stipend or lump sum of money. It is possible, however, to negotiate for salary as you become more productive to your employer or agency. In the meantime, will you be able to juggle a part-time job while volunteering for experience?

Programs can be part-time for one quarter, full-time for summer, or year round part-time or full-time commitments. Usually the competition for certain government, national or international opportunities is less during the school year versus the summer when the majority of people look. Most students find the longer they stay with one employer the more responsibility and training they will receive.

Carefully plan the quarter or summer in which you want to begin your first internship experience. Will you have sufficient time to devote to a volunteer or internship experience? How much flexibility will you need to handle your commitments in and outside of class? Freshman and Sophomores usually begin with volunteer, part-time jobs, or on-campus experiences to get the flavor of the type of responsibilities and skills they would like to use in their internship later on. It is usually in the Junior and Senior year that students find they have enough general focus and academic background to begin applying for specific internship programs.

Do you want to stay in Santa Barbara or will you also consider opportunities in Sacramento, San Diego, Washington D.C., New York, Europe or Japan? It may be possible to do several internships in the local area with proper planning. Many students who start locally and build their portfolio of skills and experiences are then able to market themselves for paid summer internships outside the Santa Barbara area.

Take advantage of all of the resources shown above: Occupational Outlook Handbook, California Occupational Guides, the College Board's, CHOICES (you need to come by the CRR to get access), and the printed material in our Career Resource Room. Also, internships can be a great way to get valuable experience that employers value.

Once you have some occupational titles in mind, there’s quite a bit of good information available on the Internet. Two good options are:

  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook - This is the industry standard, compiled and maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It lists hundreds of occupations, each including sections on Nature of the Work, Training, Job Outlook, and Earnings.
  • California Occupational Guides - The data contained in this site are similar to the OOH (above), but the labor market information is specifically for jobs in California.
  • In addition, our Career Resource Room is filled with printed material on hundreds of occupations. Our friendly student peers and professional staff will be happy to help you find what you need, whether in print or on the web.

Our Career Resource Room has 24 computers available for you to use.


In other words, what career areas do you want to know more about? Are you thinking about the fields of advertising, accounting, or personnel administration? You may need to use the Career Resource Room at Career Services to research several areas before you determine your preference. What skills do you enjoy using and which do you want to develop further (i.e., writing, public speaking, computer programming)? Finally, is there a particular type of organization that interests you (i.e., banking, retail, health care)?

The typically UCSB on-campus part-time job is now between $8-10 per hour depending on experience (DOE). Many students expect to earn between $10-12 per hour off-campus for customer service; administrative; and related areas.

For most UCSB majors, the answer is “not much”. That’s because UCSB is a research institution, and therefore teaches critical thinking and research skills, but doesn’t really provide job training. The exceptions to this are the Engineering majors and the Economics and Accounting major which prepare students to become (big surprise) engineers and accountants. For everyone else, most UCSB majors can be related to most jobs. You can get a start by looking through our list of majors under Careers by UCSB Majors.

Choose something you’re good at and that you’re interested in. Through this website you can get onto the departmental website for the major you want to learn more about. If you want to get some ideas about what occupations are related to the major check our Careers by Major page Students are always welcome to come in to talk with a Career Counselor, either for a quick 10-minute drop-in session at the Career Resource Room, or for a longer 30-minute appointment with a career counselor. For appointments, please come by our office or call 893-4412.