Career Resources and Websites

The grass, they say, is always greener on the other side. All too often, you may land yourself up in a job that promised much, only to find that things just are not what they seemed.

One way to stop this from happening is to ensure that you acquaint yourself with the rules of the game and become familiar with what the occupation really entails. In the age of the internet, much of what you need to know can be found quite literally at your fingertips!

Four Steps to Research Your Career of Choice

Step 1:Discover what you need to know about the career

Whether you're planning to choose a major in a particular subject or deciding upon a career, ask yourself some basic questions like what the work involves and whether it fits in with your interests, abilities, lifestyle preferences etc., and what are the types of organizations where you'd be able to work.

If you are considering launching into a career, it is worthwhile to know what the education and training requirements are, what is the salary that you can expect and what your advancement potential would be. Check out Which Careers Will be in Demand in the Future?for a look forward into industries and professions that will be in demand in the years ahead.

Step 2:Research, research and more research!

Wield the power of the Internet. Visit some popular websites like U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsand read the local newspapers, magazines and trade publications.

The following websites will give you specific information regarding salaries, state labor market information and resources, high-growth and high-wage occupations etc.

  • Career Infonet- Includes specific information about occupations like high growth and high wage occupations, employment and wage trend information at the national, state, metropolitan and county levels plus interactive tools to help you in your career, education, and business.
  • Career Voyages - A must-visit site for parents, students, career advisors and career changers. Contains information about skill sets required for various jobs, career videos, links and tools to help you gauge your interests.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook - Published by the United States Department of Labor, in this you will find the latest information on training and education requirements, potential earnings, long-term career prospects, the working conditions of various careers and job market information in specific states.
  • Occupational Information Network - An interactive, web-based tool that provides information on the skill sets and training required for many occupations.
  • Federal Student Aid - A website designed to help students in particular. From the Department of Education, this website provides in depth information on how to prepare for college, choose courses, procedures for applying, funding and repaying loans.
  • USA.gov - An important resource for both students and career seekers. Includes information on online learning, financial aid, schools, job search tips, employment and volunteer opportunities.
  • Skills USA - A national nonprofit organization, Skills USA is the ultimate guide for students preparing for careers in technical occupations. A great place to connect with other students, teachers and even industry representatives.
  • JobStar Central - A public library guide for specific careers. Also includes detailed information on how you can plan your career, potential salaries, requirements for a job, working environment etc.

Additional Career Resources:

Career Overview
O*Net Online
Employment & Training Administration
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Higher Education Resource Hub

Step 3:Conduct an informational interview

An informational interview would give you a subjective and more personalized view of the job you're considering. The following resources should help you conduct an informational interview with panache!

Step 4:Get some experience

Volunteering and job shadowing are powerful ways to get experience. So are internships and apprenticeships. Hopefully, these resources should help you:

How Volunteering can Help
Internship Opportunities
Kick starting your Career with an Internship
QuintCareers Volunteering Resources
Directories of Job Shadowing Opportunities
Find a Job Shadowing Position!
Exchange your Job for Another
The Ultimate Job Shadow Guide

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