Books That Describe Jobs, Careers

Robin writes:
I’d like to know if there are any books that give descriptions of which careers do what? I thought it was a simple question but I am having a hard time trying to find a resource like this. I am in the midst of making a career decision and don’t want to miss out on understanding the basics of each career.

The Career Doctor responds:
I think the two best books on careers career potential and requirements and job outlook are the Occupational Outlook Handbook and the Career Guide to Industries — both published by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The books are available in print (usually in reference areas of libraries) and online (with search or browse capabilities).
The Occupational Outlook Handbook (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) is a nationally recognized source of career information designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years the Handbook describes what workers do on the job working conditions the training and education needed earnings and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations. Follow this link for the current
edition of the Handbook.
The Career Guide to Industries (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) provides information on available careers by industry including the nature of the industry working conditions employment occupations in the industry training and advancement earnings and benefits employment outlook and lists of organizations that can provide additional information. This edition of the Career Guide discusses more than 42 industries accounting for more than 7 out of every 10 wage and salary jobs. The Career Guide is a companion to the Occupational Outlook Handbook which provides information on careers from an occupational perspective. Follow this link to the current edition of the Guide.
There are also numerous books written about careers within specific industries. For example someone interest in marketing as a career could read Opportunities in Marketing Careers. You can find a fairly extensive list of career books — organized by industry — in this section of Quintessential Careers: Industry-Specific Career Books.
Finally I would be remiss if I also didn’t mention that there are a growing number of Websites that either offer just industry-specific career information or a combination of job postings and career information…and many universities with majors in specific disciplines also offer career information. I suggest visiting these two sections of Quintessential Careers: Career and Job Resources — by Industry and Career Exploration.
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