3. Careers & Employment: Learn about occupations, salaries, and demand
Learn more about occupations
Self-assessment tools will point you toward a number of different occupations. The next step is to begin exploring each one in order to focus your interest on a particular career path. Use the tools on this page to research an occupation.
- Use key reference sources to find background information.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook is the key source for this task. It is from the U.S. Labor Department.
This source describes:
- nature of the work for various occupations
- training needed
- employment outlook (which jobs are in demand)
- potential salary
It's available in print and on the Web, is updated frequently, and provides references for further reading.
America's Career InfoNet incorporates information from the Occupational Outlook Handbook and provides even more data, geared to the state level. Using this source, you can search by state to locate:
- fastest growing occupations
- occupations with the most job openings
- highest paying occupations in that location
Videos that provide an overview of work in the field are also available for many occupations.
- Find books with more detailed information
Search your library catalog to find recent books that will provide more detailed information about an occupation. Here's a search strategy that will yield useful results:
- Start with a keyword search. Use words to describe the occupational area (nursing, teaching, etc.) and the word careers. Here's an example: nursing AND careers.
- Examine a record for a relevant book: Click on the title and then on a linked subject heading on the right (such as teaching -- vocational guidance) to find more like it.
Articles can also provide current information about trends, critical issues, and employment prospects in a particular field. To find articles, search in a general (all subjects) article database, such as MagPortal.com.
Some article databases (also called periodical indexes) are free, such as
MagPortal.com and the Directory of Online Journals. Others are available
from your library:
Browse trade publications for additional information
Professional and trade magazines and journals are aimed at those working in a particular field. They cover trends and news, and provide articles with very practical information. They are useful when you are exploring careers in that field or are job hunting (many include job listings or classifieds). Browse Top 10 Trade Magazines (the Top 10 is followed by a lengthier list of other trade magazines)
Potential salary is also a consideration in choosing a career. Check the sources below for learning about salaries for various occupations. The last one (salary.com) gives information on total compensation - benefits and perquisites, as well as the salary, received on the job - for beginners, mid-career-level, and those at the late stages of their careers.
At Ohio State University, there are also some credit courses that will help you to explore your career options and develop skills that will be useful when you are ready to move ahead. Here are a few:
- ARTS & SCI 3200 - Exploring Careers in the Information Professions
- ALLIMED 3000 - Introduction to the Health Sciences Major and Career Opportunities
- ANIMSCI 3500 - Career and Professional Development in Animal Sciences
- ART 5108 - Professional Practice - Career Preparation in Art
- DENTHYG 4540 - Dental Hygiene Career Management
- MOLGEN 2220H - Introduction to Molecular Life Sciences: Research Opportunities and Career Options
- MUSIC 5591 - Career Development in Music
- PSYCH 2389 - Career Exploration in Psychology
Search for others in the OSU course catalog by filling the Subject Area box with the name of your major or college. (You can leave the other boxes blank except for what is automatically filled in.)
Browse Top 10 Trade Magazines for a magazine related to a career that interests you, then look at this publication.