Career vs. Vocation: What’s the Difference?

November 25, 2019
Career vs. vocation


Many people use "vocation" and "career" interchangeably, but there's an important difference. One of the core values of Concordia University Texas is pursuing vocation, the work through which God calls us to serve others.

Vocation vs. Career

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a career is a profession for which you train and pursue as a permanent calling. It's a series of positions you hold within a particular field.

For example, a person typically begins an accounting career as a staff accountant, advances to senior accountant, and is possibly promoted to become a controller or chief financial officer.

Vocation alludes to the spheres of influence you are called to, which oftentimes occur simultaneously. It's the meaningful work through which God uses us to serve others. While your career is definitely part of it, your vocation is much more.

For example, you are called to be a Concordia University Texas student. God also may have called you to be a sibling, serve as a leader in your church, be an excellent friend, apply your skills to a specific career, volunteer at a nonprofit and more.

Meaningful Work

As an institution rooted in Christian faith, we believe that every vocation is important, from a stay-at-home mother and executive officer to Christian ministry and fatherhood.

The Apostle Paul tells us in Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV), "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

VPD Resources

The resources we offer, such as the Office of Vocation & Professional Development (VPD), prepare you for more than just a career; they prepare you for a vocation that is defined by meaningful work.

The VPD team can help you determine how your passions and skills can be leveraged into meaningful work. They offer you a wide array of career resources, whether you attend our main campus or are a fully online student:

  • Assessment tools to determine strengths and career interests
  • Career services (job search, resume writing, interview coaching and more)
  • Internship program to help students find and apply for internships
  • Handshake (job search platform)
  • Professional networking opportunities

Our vision for your time at CTX is to be a place where you embark on an adventure of faith, learning and life-changing experiences that leads to meaningful work.

Learn more about the wonderful resources Career Services offers you to help you pursue a vocation defined by meaningful work.