Question: “How can I get more information about ———- career?”
by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
Probably the most common question I receive is one where a student — or parent — wants more information about a particular career. A similar question along these same lines is “what can I do with a major in ———?”
(The majors question led to a whole section on Quintessential Careers: Real Jobs for Real Majors: What Can I do With a Major in…?)
People are always writing to me — students, parents, job-seekers — asking about trends in specific jobs or careers. And while I like to keep track of a number of careers, most of the time I need to do a little research to find the answers.
How do I go about finding information about a specific career?
Step 1: I search for the career in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Handbook provides a plethora of information about a large number of occupations, such as: the nature of the work, working conditions, training and educational requirements, career advancement, job outlook, earnings potential, and more. All you need to do is type in the name of a career field or job title. And you can search the Handbook without ever leaving Quintessential Careers!
Step 2: I search for one or more professional associations related to the career. For example, if someone were interested in a career in marketing, I would go the American Marketing Association’s Website and see what they have to say about a career in marketing.
Step 3: I search for information about the career in my favorite search engine, Google.com. For example, I might search for “careers in marketing.” In fact, there is a site called Careers in Marketing, which has all sorts of great career information. Google lists numerous other sites as well.
Step 4: I visit a couple of industry-specific job sites to see if they have any career information, as well as to look at some of the current jobs posted on the sites. For example, I visited MarketingJobs.com.
Step 5: I visit one of the great career exploration sites listed on Quintessential Careers, especially if the request is from a college student who loves her major but isn’t sure what she can do with it when she graduates. For example, I’ll visit one of the “What Can I Do With A Major In…” sites from the Real Jobs for Real Majors: What Can I do with a Major in …? Resources. These sites — from a number of colleges and universities — offer fact sheets that offer information such as transferable skills, possible career options, link to career-related Websites, and other career-related information.
This article is part of a series from The Career Doctor’s Cures & Remedies to Quintessentially Perplexing Career and Job-Hunting Ailments. Read more.
See a list of all the most common college, career, and job questions — and Dr. Hansen’s solutions.
Who is the Career Doctor? Learn more, read his current career column, or browse the column archives when you visit the Career Doctor’s homepage.
Dr. Randall S. Hansen is a nationally recognized career and job-search expert. He is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
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