Self Help - Five Ways to Research an Occupation


  1. Identify what you need to know about the occupation
    • What is the work itself like?
    • Where would you work (type of organization)?
    • What training or education is required?
    • What are the rewards (e.g. salary, advancement potential)?
    • What is the job outlook?
    • Does this occupation fit with your abilities, work needs, interests, lifestyle preferences, etc.?
    • Will you be able to complete the required training?


  2. Conduct general research on occupations
    • Use the resources available in the Academic & Career Resource Center.
    • Guide for Occupational Exploration (GOE) - categorizes occupations by interest areas and explains the type of work, qualifications, required preparation, job outlook, related occupations, etc. Available in the Academic & Career Resource Center.
    • Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) - gives information about the nature of the work, work environment, places of work, training, education and other qualifications, job outlook, related occupations, etc.
    • Vocational Biographies - provides information from the perspective of someone currently employed in the occupation, including path taken to arrive at that career, typical work day, and basic information about the occupation.


  3. Conduct specific research
  4. Go to an informational interview
    • After researching occupations through other resources, talk to people in fields that particularly interest you.


  5. Get some experience
    • Consider an internship or obtaining academic credit for working. The Career Center provides information on cooperative education and internship possibilities.
    • Get a part-time or summer job in an environment that interests you.
    • Do volunteer work in a field of interest.