College and Career


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Career Basics: How to Choose a Career / Occupation

Assessment Tools | Job Shadowing | Online Career Profiles | Career Profiles in BOOKS

There are A LOT of different careers out there, but the question that you may have is "Which one is right for YOU?" If you are going to spend a lot of money, time and effort, it would be nice if at the end of your education that you were satisfied with your career. There are tests that you can take that can be EXTREMELY HELPFUL in helping you find the right career/job. Many of the following methods to find information about careers can be found in College Career Centers.

The following tests are very popular and very good. Usually, they are fee-based and are BEST interpreted by a professional career counselor. We will not go into much explanation but we will say that the tests measure your personality and then match your personality characteristics to occupations. If you answer the questions truthfully, these tests can be EXCELLENT tools to match you up with the right career. We must emphasize that if you have any questions about a career, any doubt at all, please see a school career center and a professional career counselor. There are a few very good tests, but the following are two of the best:

Job Shadowing

There are various ways to find information about careers. One excellent way to find out if you want to pursue a specific career is to "job shadow." You need to follow someone around on the job who is in the occupation that interests you. Do NOT be afraid to ask questions, after all, you are investigating a career where you might be spending most of your life working, not to mention the money, time, and energy spent trying to achieve success in that career. For example, if you want to be a nurse, go to a hospital and talk to someone in charge to see if they will allow you to follow a nurse around for a few days. We use nursing as an example because, like many careers, nursing offers a variety of choices when becoming a nurse. There are nurses who work on the wards (floors), in operating rooms, OB/GYN, nursing homes, and other specialties. Each specialty has different aspects that you have to consider.

Following are some sources that will give information about careers. These sources provide information about the nature of the work, training/education, employment and job outlook, earnings, and much more.

Online Resources: Career Profiles

Occupational Outlook Handbook is the Web version of the nationally-recognized reference book that describes what workers do on the job, training and education needed, wages, job prospects, and much more. This is an EXCELLENT source of information. There are a couple of ways to search for a career on this site. The main page is located at
The A to Z Alphabetical Index is easy to use at


America's Career Infonet is "transitioning to CareerOneStop's Toolkit." Career One Stop provides wage and employment trends, occupational requirements, state-by-state labor market condition, millions of employer contacts nationwide, and an extensive career resource library. Please take your time to view many web pages at this EXCELLENT source for career information. Here are some web pages for accessing the website. is another EXCELLENT site to spend some time exploring the links. This site features information about career profiles, colleges, featured articles, career stories as employees share their views on their profession, and a variety of much more information. The main menu is located at Make sure that you visit the Career Descriptions at Another great page is where you can find a list of "Best Careers NOT Requiring a Degree." is a very good health career site maintained by the American Dental Education Association. Profiles of all kinds of health careers and schools that offer educational programs for those careers are listed on this site at

Career Profiles in BOOKS

Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance is a multivolume set of books that will give valuable career profile type of information such as the nature of the work, education / training, salary, and job outlook. Many libraries have this resource in their Reference or career section of the library.

MANY of the following books are OLD, but they may be found in some libraries. If you are interested in any of the following books and your library does not have them, then you can ask the library staff if they can interlibrary loan any of the books, for FREE.

Ferguson Publishing publishes a series of books titled Careers in Focus. The books are 200 pages in length, approximately. They cover just about everything that you want to know about the occupation such as the history, requirements, employers, starting out, advancement, earnings, work environment, job outlook, and much, MUCH more.

Rosen Publishing publishes a series of books titled Cool Careers without College. College is not for everyone, but there are occupations out there that do not require a college degree. These books give information about jobs where a college degree is not necessary..

Infobase Publishing publishes a series of books titled Great Careers with a High School Diploma. This series of books profiles jobs that require no more than a high school diploma or a GED.

Ferguson Publishing publishes a series of books titled Top Careers in Two Years. These books provide detailed information for students seeking a rewarding career without committing to four, or more, years of college in order to obtain a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or Ph.D. There are many job opportunities for students with an associate degree, comparable certification, and work or life experience. This series of books covers many of these type of careers.

McGraw-Hill is another very respected publisher that publishes many career books.

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