Resources & Tools

Below you will find resources to help transition through a multitude of different professional and career-related topics. The CCPD's Career Navigator Handout Series and Career Guide can serve as a supplement to your appointment or answer your questions immediately if you are not able to come in. Our Annual Report, published with preliminary data in January, provides an overview of the post-graduation plans of most recent graduating class. You will also find our Policies, important information for Rensselaer Students and Employers recruiting at Rensselaer.

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Career & Professional Development Guide

This guide is published every year and is available in print at the CCPD. Get the digital version here: Online Career & Professional Development Guide


Career Navigator Handout Series


FOCUS2: First-time users: First, please log into your Handshake account to obtain the FOCUS 2 access code located on your desktop. Returning users: Log in here

Freshmen & Sophomores:

  • FOCUS 2 is very useful in helping you to confirm or choose an academic major.  You have the opportunity to research careers by name or by industry, and you can compare two occupations side by side.  You may also explore careers based on your academic major.
  • We recommend that you begin by completing the “Career Readiness” and “Self Assessment” categories.   Each section will take 10 to 15 minutes.  The entire program takes about two hours to finish.
    • Career Readiness (4 sections):  Career & Educational Goals; Academic Strengths; Your Career Planning Status; Your Personal Development Needs
    • Self Assessment* (5 sections):  Work Interest Assessment; Leisure Interest Assessment; Skills Assessment; Personality Assessment; Values Assessment. 

Juniors, Seniors, and Alumni:

  • FOCUS 2 can assist you in your job and/or graduate school search.  Start with “Your Career Planning Status” in the “Career Readiness” category.  If your scores are in the medium or low range, we recommend that you complete the five sections in “Self Assessment*.” 
  • After you have an understanding of your interests, personality, skills, values & leisure interests, use the “Explore the Possibilities” section to research potential careers.  This section provides information about each career, including educational background and salary information.  You may also do a side-by-side comparison of two careers.

All Students/Alumni:

  • Self Assessment.  After you complete each individual assessment, you will be able to scroll through a list of occupations/professions that “maybe” of potential interest to you.  Those jobs that have a corresponding academic major at Rensselaer will be listed to the right.  Please “save” the jobs that appeal to you (you will have the opportunity to review very detailed information and a video regarding them).
    Important Note:  After you complete the assessments, you will have the opportunity to see your “Top Career Choices” by combining the results of “two or more” of the assessments.  Depending on your profile and how many assessments you combine, the occupations that match specific assessments may/may not appear in the “multiple” lists.  In such a situation, explore the occupations under the individual assessments.
  • Your Personal Portfolio.  FOCUS 2 automatically consolidates all of your reports into a portfolio.  Do this step if you have completed most or all of the assessment sections.  If you have completed only one or two sections, it may not be necessary.


Exploring Options
Job Search
Career Fair


Evaluating Job Offers

Offers and the Workplace:

Relocation Resources:

Salary Websites

Cost of Living Resources


Additional Resources

Below are additional resources and information that can aid in your search for an opportunity.


Micro-Internships through Parker Dewey

What Are Micro-Internships?

Micro-Internships are short-term, paid, professional assignments that are similar to those given to new hires or interns. These projects enable Career Launchers to demonstrate skills, explore career paths, and build their networks as they seek the right full-time role. Unlike traditional internships, Micro-Internships can take place year-round, typically range from 5 to 40 hours of work, and are due between one week and one month after kick-off. Micro-Internships are used by companies ranging from those in the Fortune 100 to emerging start-ups, and go across departments including sales, marketing, technology, HR, and finance. 

Micro-Internships are facilitated via the Parker Dewey platform, which connects Career Launchers with Companies in need of support.


How to Begin:

1. Sign in and create a free account today

2. View the listings of company posts for paid projects

3. Follow the application directions and apply

4. Gain marketable short-term professional experience


Have questions? Visit Parker Dewey's FAQ page:




Mini Workshop Recordings

The CCPD has created a selection of brief, 1-3 minute clips to assist you in a variety of career-related topics. Check out the recordings listed below! 


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Hiring Statistics

The CCPD publishes an Annual Report on each graduating class year that offers information on their post-graduation plans. A web-based survey is emailed to students requesting their participation; while we encourage students to provide their post-graduation plans, it is not required. Data is collected up to six months after May Graduation and follows the IPEDS Data Collection Calendar.

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Student & Employer Policies

This information is intended for all matriculated, degree-seeking Rensselaer students, distance students, alumni, and employers. NOTE: On-campus recruiting is reserved for matriculated, degree-seeking students of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Rensselaer adheres to Principles for Professional Conduct and requires that all students who participate in recruiting activities abide by these standards.

Principles for Professional Conduct

The Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) collaborates with employers and alumni to sponsor programs and services that will professionally enrich students’ career and leadership development. These include: Interviewing for Full-Time employment opportunities, the Cooperative Education Program, and Internships and Summer Jobs. Participation in these programs and services is a privilege and mandates that students exercise good judgment, mature behavior, and professional ethics. Rensselaer holds its students to the highest standards as outlined below:

  • Candidates should sign up for interviews and posted “resume drops” only when genuinely considering the position for which the organization is recruiting.
  • Students are expected to represent themselves to the CCPD and potential employers honestly and accurately on registration records, resumes, and application materials. Failure to do so will result in loss of privileges.
  • All scheduled interviews, appointments, and site visits must be kept. If canceling an interview, the CCPD requires 48 hours’ notice. The same courtesy must be extended to employers for site visits or other appointments. “No shows” will not be tolerated and will result in the loss of the next scheduled interview. In addition, the applicant is required to send the recruiter a letter of apology and provide a copy to the CCPD. In the event of sudden illness, students must contact the Interview Center at 8 a.m. on the day of their interview.
  • When an organization extends an offer of employment to the student, he or she is expected to mutually agree upon the deadline for making the decision. If extenuating circumstances occur, the employer should be contacted immediately to request a reasonable extension.
  • Reimbursements for visits at an organization’s expense should be only for those reasonable expenditures pertinent to the trip. If other organizations are visited on the same trip, the candidate should inform the employer and prorate the costs.
  • Co-op applicants and students applying for summer positions should not negotiate the pay rate with employers. Concerns about compensation rates are to be discussed with a member of the CCPD counseling staff. Graduating students should research and know appropriate salary ranges for the positions for which they are applying and are expected to be ethical in salary negotiations.
  • A job offer is to be very carefully considered. Candidates are asked to notify the CCPD of all offers and the job acceptance and then withdraw from all other interviews. Upon the acceptance of an offer, a student repudiation of an accepted offer normally will result in program expulsion or deactivation of services.
  • Students engaged in an employment under the auspices of the university, such as the Cooperative Education Program, are expected to be professional, and they are bound by the rights and responsibilities outlined in the Rensselaer Handbook.

All students and alumni must also review and abide by our Registration Agreement and OCR Policies before proceeding with registration.

Alumni, please read our Alumni On-Campus Recruiting Policy.


We expect the same professionalism from our employers that we expect from our students. All employer representatives are encouraged to review the Principles for Employment Professionals developed by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Recruiters must treat all student information, including resumes and transcripts, as strictly confidential. All interviewers should be trained to ask only those questions that are legal and appropriate.

In addition, serving alcohol should not be a part of the recruitment process. All activities, including, but not limited to informational meetings and presentations, should be alcohol-free. All on-campus interviews should be held in the CCPD's Interview Center in the Darrin Communications Center unless otherwise cleared by the Director of the Center for Career and Professional Development.


Offer Policy (Full-Time and Summer Internships)*

The CCPD is focused on assisting both candidates and employers make their way through the offer process.  To support our efforts, we have implemented the policy noted below regarding offers. We hope that our offer policy will minimize incidents of students pursuing and accepting an employment offer after accepting another offer.   In our experience, students who feel undue pressure to make an employment decision are more likely to renege after accepting.  We believe that adherence to the timeframes outlined below is in the best interest of both employers and students.

FULL-TIME AND SUMMER INTERNSHIP OFFER TIMELINES:  Employers may extend an offer to a candidate at any time.  However, two to four weeks should be given to allow the candidate to make an informed decision about accepting an offer. 

  • Fall Interviews:  Employers conducting interviews in the fall semester are encouraged to give students until the first business day of December to respond to an offer, without undue pressure to respond on an earlier date.  Students interviewed on or after the first business day of December should be given a minimum of two weeks to respond to an offer.
  • Spring Interviews: Employers conducting interviews in the spring semester are encouraged to give students a minimum of two weeks to respond to an offer, without pressure to respond on an earlier date.
  • Offers to Summer Interns:  Employers who give offers for an internship or full-time employment to a student who has had a summer internship with the employer are encouraged to give students until the first business day of November to respond to an offer, without pressure to respond on an earlier date.


  1. Once an offer extension deadline is arranged, undue pressure on candidates for an earlier decision is inappropriate.
  2. If hiring bonuses are subject to expiration prior to the expiration of an offer, this information must be made clear to the candidate in the extension of the offer.
  3. For circumstances outside the timeline above, employers must give students at least two weeks to make a decision.

*For co-ops offers, please refer to our Cooperative Education Recruiting Schedule.

Fee for Placement:  The Center for Career & Professional Development does not permit postings on Handshake for any organization that charges fees to our students or alumni for the purpose of securing employment and/or training. 

Third Party Recruiters: Please note that requests for online accounts made by third parties, staffing and/or executive search firms cannot be approved for free postings, access to our Resume Books or Spring Career Fair.   Please go to Handshake to create an employer account.  You can then post jobs to Rensselaer (and other participating universities) for a nominal fee.

Testing: The Center for Career and Professional Development will no longer administer or proctor tests of any nature (pre-employment, skills assessment, etc.).  We regret any inconvenience.  

New Handshake Account Requests The CCPD reserves the right to deny access to any employer who refuses to comply with our requirements for setting up a new account. These requirements include a valid full first and last contact name, a valid phone number, a valid employer web address and a valid email address for that employer (not generic).

Unpaid Internships: The CCPD strongly encourages all employers to carefully review the US Department of Labor's Criteria for Unpaid Interns before making an offer of employment.

Work Authorization: The two questions employers may ask applicants are:

1) Are you legally authorized to work in the United States for any employer? 
2) Will you now or in the near future require visa sponsorship?

Rensselaer assumes that a prospective employer will advise all job applicants about the employer's responsibilities regarding any specific job requirements in order for the employer to be in compliance with the various United States national security or export control statutes that might affect the position being posted. Volunteering this information could be provided at the time of application or when a prospective applicant makes a position-specific inquiry.

In compliance with federal and state law, Rensselaer does not permit the use of work authorization, visa status, or citizenship data on the online job board. This action is in compliance with a Department of Justice determination. More information can be found at the Department of Justice website.


Post-doctoral candidates are employees of Rensselaer and as such, are not eligible to participate in, or register for, services provided by the Center for Career and Professional Development.

CCPD Privacy Policy

Searching for employment is a personal process. The Center for Career and Professional Development has developed policies concerning your personal information and wants you to be aware of steps you can take to protect your privacy.

Links to Other Websites

The CCPD website contains links to external websites. The CCPD makes every effort to confirm that these links are current and relevant. The CCPD does not endorse nor does it assume liability for the privacy practices or policies of external websites. You are encouraged to read and be aware of the privacy practices and policies of any website (s) that you may use, and we suggest that you exercise caution in any circumstance where private information such as your SSN and contact information is requested. After using web browsers, take steps to protect your privacy by signing off when using a shared computer. Also, secure your login ID and password.

Personal Information

As part of the registration process, the CCPD requires that you confirm, at the time you complete your Handshake Profile online, that you will abide by all of the CCPD's policies.

All personal information is held in strictest confidence. The CCPD does not release personal information without your permission unless required to do so by law. Personal information collected as a result of our registration process is used to preserve and enhance the functioning and integrity of our system. Information requested about your search for employment, such as job offers and salary offers are collected in aggregate to provide us with statistical information for annual reports. Personal information will not be disclosed to advertisers, data-management consultants and/or third party recruiters. The CCPD will send resume drops and resume books to employers. If you participate in a resume drop or elect to have your resume added to a resume book, you agree to allow the CCPD to send your resume to employers upon request. It is your responsibility to make sure that all information and representations made on your resume are accurate and up-to-date.

CCPD Registration Agreement

All students are required to read and verify their understanding of the Registration Agreement at the time you complete your online Profile and activate your Handshake account. By clicking "yes," as a student or alumnus/a, you agree to abide by the Standards for Professional Conduct established by the CCPD during your search for employment. Through your consent, you are giving the CCPD permission to send your resume to employers upon request. You may revoke this agreement at any time, giving us two business days’ notice (in writing).


Cookies are short pieces of information used by web browsers to remember information provided by the user, such as passwords and preferences from past visits. While accessing the CCPD site we request that cookies be on. Any information provided by you to the CCPD and stored in a cookie is for CCPD’s internal use only. It is used to personalize service, not as a way to track personal data about you. Please refer to the instructions provided by your browser to learn how to turn-on cookies. By default, they are on.


To protect your privacy, the CCPD provides the following features and services:

1. The CCPD maintains the hardware that runs its programs and processes. The hardware is located physically in the CCPD at Rensselaer. Access is limited by the login. Handshake powers the on-campus interview scheduler and the job posting service. 

2. Login IDs and Passwords are encrypted. You may change and are encouraged to change your password from time to time to protect your privacy.

3. Backup tape storage for all transactions is provided.

4. Security procedures are reviewed continuously with periodic upgrades and improvements made as needed.

5. The CCPD adheres to the Standards for Professional Conduct established by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

6. Student records are protected by the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), New York State law, and Institute policy.

7. Information on the CCPD website, including personal information, is used in accordance with the Rensselaer Privacy Policy and the Policy for Electronic Citizenship.


Questions and comments may be forwarded to the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD). The CCPD is located in the Darrin Communications Center, room 209. Our phone number is (518) 276-6234.