How many careers can you describe in detail? Learning more about industries and sectors of employment may broaden your scope of career possibilities. Limited knowledge of occupations may lead you to make assumptions about what skills are necessary to succeed in a given career.

Occupations are constantly evolving, as are the needs of employers. Knowing how your overall skills and qualifications can add value to an organization will help you not only in securing your first job, but also in staying relevant and advancing as a professional.

When faced with career decisions, there are basic questions to answer:

  • What kind of work do I want to do based on my interests, abilities, values, and personality? What kind of challenges energize me?
  • Am I prepared? How will my skills and qualifications add value to that occupation/organization?
  • Are the requirements of this occupation reasonable to me?
  • Where are the employment opportunities?

The process of exploring careers can begin with online research or by talking with professionals in your field(s) of interest. Gathering information and then experiencing the work as a volunteer, intern, or part-time employee are among the most effective ways to learn about a career.

The resources listed below may be of great use to you, as they work to provide answers to the exploration questions listed above.


  • Candid Career has brief videos of professionals from thousands of occupations talking about their careers.
  • O*Net OnLine is a database of hundreds of occupations described in terms of daily tasks, knowledge required, and qualifications and interests of the typical worker. You can search for occupations by title, industry, or projected growth. The Advanced Search option allows you to browse occupations by abilities, interests, knowledge, and skills related to the job.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook is a collection of occupational profiles that cover the tasks of a job, its work environment, the steps for landing the job, and the job’s projected outlook. The Career Exploration/Research Worksheet may be a useful navigational tool for finding and evaluating information on this site.
  • CareerBeam is a virtual tool to help you identify careers that may be of interest based on your preferences.