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The Riley Guide's Career Research Center
This library includes job descriptions, salary data and employment statistics, and education information for over 160 occupations!

Great Info from the Feds

America's Career InfoNet, part of
...part of the America's Job Bank network, this is a tremendous source of information on hundreds of occupations and can help you identify transferable skills used by many occupations, what industries employ persons in these occupations, and what compensation you can expect. Head right to the Wages and Trends section for the fastest access to the occupational info. Select a menu item or use the Keyword search to target potential occupations. These reports will link you to all the relevant information for these occupations, including tasks, skills, industry trends, and job listings through America's Job Bank. The Career Resource Library is searchable by keyword from the home page, and the Frequently Asked Questions are now searchable. Try their Employability Checkup tool. "The employability check-up is designed to provide you with a snapshot of your ability to find a similar job at a similar wage if you became unemployed today."
...a new gateway to all of the job and career tools provided by the U.S. Department of Labor. CareerOneStop serves to unite America's Career InfoNet, America's Job Bank, and America's Service Locator into a single source, making it easy for you to move from one to the other as your information and service needs change. An excellent investment of our tax dollars.
mySkills myFuture
A recent addition to, mySkills myFuture is intended to help you find a new career based on jobs you have held in the past using the idea of transferrable skills -- where else can you use what you already know. It's not perfect, but it can offer you new ideas and options, and it tells you which careers seem to be growing. You'll also get average wages, relevant education levels (do people in these fields generally hold bachelors degrees?), and relevant job listings drawn from many sources. The site is also available in Spanish.
My Next Move
Not sure what you seek? Try this site. Created by the National Center for O*Net Development for the USDOL Employment and Training Administration, this is an interactive tool where job seekers and students can learn more about their career options. The site has tasks, skills, salary information, and more for over 900 different careers. Users can find careers through keyword search; by browsing industries that employ different types of workers; or through the O*NET Interest Profiler, a tool that offers personalized career suggestions based on a person's interests and level of work experience. It produces a RIASEC score which can then be used to help find occupations matching their interests. You can also search for jobs that have a Bright Outlook, those that are considered part of the Green Industry, and even those with Registered Apprenticeship programs. (In fact, this is probably the easiest way to find information on apprenticeships.) The site is simple to use, easy to navigate, and friendly to the youngest or even the most fearful computer user. Absolutely wonderful!
Occupational Outlook Handbook
...the latest edition of this biannual handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is now online. It lists a wealth of career information for a wide range of occupations, including a brief review of important features and "what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects." Users can access this information (offered in HTML and .pdf formats) by conducting a keyword search for a specific occupation, by browsing an "occupational cluster," or by browsing a listing of all occupations in alphabetical order. También está disponible en español.
Career Guide to Industries
...according to the BLS website, this is no longer available online as they work on a redesign that will better incorporate this information into the Occupational Outlook Handbook. (August 2012)
Occupational Outlook Quarterly
....published quarterly by the BLS, this magazine features articles with practical information on jobs and careers. Topics cover a wide variety of career and work-related topics such as new and emerging occupations, training opportunities, salary trends, and results of new studies from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The main articles are in PDF format and require the free reader to view them. However, you can review a "nutshell" description or a "snippet" from each OOQ article before you download the full text of the article. The Grab Bag section includes short news alerts, and You're a What? looks at unusual occupational fields (fun for younger persons to read.) These sections are in HTML and PDF.
O*NET Online
O*NET OnLine database of occupational information, which includes information on skills, abilities, work activities, and interests associated with over 950 occupations. This user-friendly resource allows visitors to browse occupations by career cluster, industry, job family, job zone (level of education usually required), or other current interests such as Green Economy or STEM (science / technology / engineering / math) Discipline. Users can also search for possible careers by Skills or Tool and Technology needed. Some users will also appreciate the Crosswalks, allowing them to match careers and jobs to Military Occupational Classifications (MOC), Apprenticeship codes or titles from the Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Data System (RAPIDS), or other systems. Occupational information is gathered primarily from related BLS sources such as the Occupational Outlook Handbook, but a particularly nice feature within these reports is the inclusion of data such as the three-part Holland code, national employment and wage data which can be narrowed down to a specific state, and related occupations which are flagged for Green Jobs and those with particularly "Bright Outlooks" for growth. These make for extremely detailed occupational reports but their accessibility and readability makes the entire system a pleasure for users as well as counselors and educators.
Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), 4th edition, 1991
The DOT was created by the Employment and Training Administration to establish a uniform occupational language for use by the local offices of the U.S. Employment Service. Please note that it is being replaced by the O*NET, but many agencies still reference its occupational codes, like the U.S. Military Services. I recommend you use this directory only if you have actual DOT numbers you need to look up. Otherwise, please use O*NET for career exploration as it is a better reflection of today's employment market.

Other Great Sources

JobsRated Report
...updated every year in January, the JobsRated Report uses detailed analysis to measure careers by factors such as working conditions, competitiveness, hiring outlook and physical exertion, giving each a score and ranking. In 2011, Librarian was #29, up from #46 in 2010. Whoo hoo!
...a database of thousands of career profiles in hundreds of professions. "Every mentor fills out a profile that includes a questionnaire, a summary of an average day on the job, and a place where a user can ask any additional questions they feel we missed. To view profiles, conduct searches and use our resources we are 100% free. We only require a registration fee if a user wants to ask a mentor a question to help protect our mentor's privacy." Folks, this is a marvelous, REAL look at careers and jobs. Each mentor fills out the same questionnaire with information on his or her current job, how they got there, what they do, and do they like it. You get to see their job title, age, and gender (lots of women in nontraditional jobs!). And it includes snapshots of jobs you will not find in other locations, like actual military personnel (enlisted and commissioned) and court clerk. The average salary data at the top of the page is not quite as relevant as I'd like, but it is enlightening. Very well done and very interesting. Remember, it's all free unless you want to ask a mentor a specific question. Not everyone has filled out the "A day in the life.." area, which is disappointing, but these are great profiles.
Virginia Career VIEW
...this site is designed to assist you with your career and educational choices. You can quickly choose a career cluster (or family) to research or just one career. You can also quickly look at schools in Virginia or the entire US to find educational programs that meet your needs. The site is divided by audience (students, parents, educators, or job seekers).
California CareerZone
"...a new way to explore exciting jobs and occupations that the Golden State has to offer and to learn about what career path interests you." This is a spin-off of the New York CareerZone, a proven, successful career exploration and planning system designed especially for students, but this one is targeted to the residents of California. It is an interesting site, and the ability to opt for text, graphic, and Flash versions makes it easily accessible by users on any kind of online connection. Areas include Assess Yourself, Industry Sectors, Reality Check (how much money will it take for you to live after high school -- wonderful!), Resources, and Search Occupations. My only complaints: the salary data was not showing for each occupation, something of real value which should be easily accessed from other areas of the state's online government resources, and the link to the jobs database was not working at the time of review. Otherwise this is another example of excellence in government services.
Learn More Indiana
..."Indiana's Pre-K to College Connection, helps Hoosiers of all ages realize a better future." Provides timely, useful education, financial aid, and career information for residents of Indiana as well as non-residents. Tracks for students (elementary through college) , parents, counselors, and adults seeking career and education information will help you target the information and resources you need.
Career Options [ENG] and Options Carrières [FR]
This bi-annual publication from the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE) is now available online. You can read the articles from the most current issue as well as past issues, read and comment on the Blog, check out Employment Tools, and much more. Some areas require you to register (free). Intended for post-secondary students and recent grads in Canada but useful for all. (English only). from JobsTVNews
...a collection of approximately 600 short videos on various careers, primarily targeted to postsecondary students. These were produced in Canada, so some of the references and job titles are more specific to that country, but it is a wonderful collection with great information. I love all the maritime career coverage.
Internet Resources for Career Planning, National Career Development Association
This list, intended for career counselors and coaches but usable by all, includes numerous links to assessments, guides, and occupational information that you can use to start your own search, start clients on a search, or even borrow from this list to create your own, more focused, resource list. The content is taken from The Internet: A Tool for Career Planning (3rd edition), authored by Debra S. Osborn, Margaret Riley Dikel, James P. Sampson, Jr., and JoAnn Harris-Bowlsbey. I think it's a pretty good list if I say so myself.
JobStar: Career Information
Originally developed for California job changers, this site includes articles on career information, links to resources, and lists of books to check for in your local public library. Definitely something we can all use.
One Day, One Job
...a wonderful daily blog for entry-level job seekers. Each day, blogger Willy Franz posts a nice article about a particular employer. "We tell our readers a little about what the company does, how easily the Careers site is to navigate, what opportunities are appropriate for recent grads, and how the application process works." You can review his list of past reviews or check his articles on improving your job search. Really nice!
The Princeton Review Online: Careers After College
One offering here is an extensive database of careers which you can search or browse. If you are willing to register and create a free account, you can try their free five minute career quiz to be matched with suggested options. They also have a feature to match your college major with careers.
This is an education and career portal targeted to students and the general public. Each subject will introduce you to many possible career fields, and each career field will introduce you to the possibilities within.
Vocational Information Center
...created by Kathryn Hake, a former educator of vocational students, this site is "an education directory that provides links to online resources for career exploration, technical education, work opportunities, trade and technical schools and related vocational learning resources." It is enormous. I suggest that students and others visiting this site to find out what kinds of careers are out there start with the Careers page and its many links to Career Paths (Ag, Animal Science, Food Science, etc.) Then work within each category to learn about the various jobs within that path. You may find occasional dead links, but there is so much here that I consider that a minor issue right now.
"Got a Drab Job? Get a Fab Job?" At first glance it appears to be a bit over the top, but the folks who operate this site do have some good advice for job seekers and career searchers. Their many guides to various careers cover the creative to the interesting to the absolutely necessary and seem to have good advice and information offered by experts in each field for a pretty good price (less than $13 at the time of review). Their free Fabulous Career Advice area offers very good advice for career changes, job seekers, and dreamers.
Inside Jobs
A new look at careers. They cover some which you might not usually find in the OOH, but others may be skimmed over. Some young career explorers may find it an easy place to explore. Links to college and degree info is provided. The company is based in Seattle (contact info is in the Terms and Privacy pages).

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What to Do with a Major In...

bigfuture by The College Board do you select a career? What if you already know what you want to do, but need to find out how to accomplish this dream? This site can help. They have descriptions of hundreds of occupations (including training and education requirements and salary expectations) and a wonderful career questionnaire which can help you in narrowing your choices to something you would enjoy. From The College Board Online
College Majors 101
Much more than just another "you can study this at these colleges and universities"! College Majors 101 discusses the various college majors, then they link you to related information like schools, student associations you might want to join, publications in this field, and Employers Who Hire People In This Field. (Emphasis mine.) Yes, you English Majors can see a list of employers who hire English Majors. Same for those of you in Womens/Gender Studies. Check out the Competitions area to learn about real competitions open to college students and what colleges are taking the prizes. Excellent concept, and well done!
Major Resource Kit
These "kits" cover information for 49 undergraduate programs as a tool for implementing a job search. Each "Major Resource Kit" includes information such as entry-level job titles that previous University of Delaware graduates in that program have attained, brief job descriptions, major employers for that field, and listings of materials for conducting a job search.
What to Do With a Major In...
Select a career area from the list, and you will be presented with a nice list of professional and trade associations and links to occupational descriptions for this field. They also list similar sites from other colleges and universities, and job and career information online. A nice resource put together by the Academic and Career Information Center at Kansas State University.
The 6 Coolest Jobs for Weird Majors,
I couldn't resist. Actually, these are not "weird" degrees by any means. They are just somewhat uncommon in these days of IT, Finance, and Materials Engineering majors. The degrees discusses are Linguistics, Consumer Science, Classics, Food Science, Packaging, and Logics. So go ahead and tell your folks you do have a future that does not involve working in the fast food industry.

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Choosing a Career Path

Career Planning Process
Developed by Pam Allen and Ellen Nagy at Bowling Green State University, this guides you through various steps designed to assist you in evaluating yourself and your career options.
Exploring Occupations: Getting You Started on Your Career Path!
Resources for exploring some of the more popular career areas. From the University of Manitoba.
iSeek Careers
..."What do I want to do with my life? What do the numbers say? Where do I go from here?" This guide from the MN Department of Employment Security is here to help you answer these questions and plan your career path. Using the labor market information (LMI) they have collected, they can help you find some of the faster growing careers available today as you discover your own interests and develop the skills you need to be competitive. While they start by talking to young persons just out of high school, older and more experienced people will also find this guide to be extremely helpful. Not just for Minnesotans.
MyFuture, Australia's Career Information Guide
...a career planning and exploration tool developed by the Department of Education, Science & Training (Australia) along with several educational partners. You can created your own career plan and get help in determining your career direction through a series of articles and activities that guide you through career exploration and planning processes. Registering and setting up your own guide is the best way to use this site.
...a service of the Calgary Youth Employment Center, part of the HRDC - DRHC (Canada), this is a great guide to career planning, exploration, and decision-making for young persons age 15 to 24. They have some nice interactive tools you can use as you work through the various steps and exercises tied to great resources.

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Changing Careers

Finding the Work You Love by Keri Coffman-Thiede [PDF]
This is a great article on how to go about figuring out what you want to do with your life and how to translate that into your dream job. Ms. Coffman-Thiede of Amaze Yourself Coaching is a career coach based in Wisconsin. You will need the free Adobe reader to view this article. She has other good articles which you can access from her homepage.
...a nice online resource offering information and guidance for career changers. Yes, the author makes a lot of references to his book (which he hopes you will buy), but what he offers on this site is a good, simple, and fast guide to get you thinking about a possible change and how to determine which way to go.

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Planning & Managing Your Career

What's the difference between choosing a career path and planning & managing your career? Choosing a career path is usually for younger persons or persons who are really considering a major shift away from what they have done in the past, maybe going from System Administration to Nursing. Planning & Managing your career means making choices along the way, deciding if it is better to step sideways from one industry to another while still doing the same work, decided if you want to move up and then learning how to accomplish this. It may involve choosing a career path, but it's also choosing the path you personally want to follow as you evolve in your own path.
Careers and Worklife Blog, (Albany NY)
A collection of blog articles from several different authors all contributing to this active and enlightening discussion of careers and employment issues. All are quite good. Careers
...this has always been a good resource for career information and employment news, it is even better since Marty Nemko has been named Contributing Editor. (We have more info on Marty under Job Search Gurus.) Marty has a real no-nonsense approach to career management and planning. You might be surprised (or even offended) at what he has to say about some job fields (like the possibly declining need for librarians due to search engines), but if you think about it he could be right (but not about that. Of course, he also said librarian job growth will be in nontraditional settings, and I've been nontraditional for about 10 years now...) Anyway, the articles here are good and they will enlighten you to a lot of things. Check out Marty's extensive Blog too.
"The smart woman's online career resource. Our mission is to help you achieve career satisfaction by providing the information, support and tools you need to succeed in today's competitive economy." This web site doesn't just focus on searching for jobs, it looks at your entire career and the choices you may make along the way, from job changes to entrepreneurship to your personal life. The organization is run by women whose talents combine to make this a very powerful source of information and guidance, from stress management to career planning to image consulting to resume writing pros. While this site is very focused on women, I encourage men to look here for good advice on a number of topics. The site is divided into channels covering the main topic areas: Assessment, Transition, Management, Small Business Services, and Tools. The free membership is not required to access most areas and articles but will be needed in order to get to the article archives and access some of the other tools. This site offers you the ability to take a variety of interest inventories and assessment tools, some of which are free and some which charge a fee. The fee-based tools are the same ones you would see in a career counseling or outplacement office and are highly valued for the insight and information they provide. Some of these send you personalized reports you easily interpret yourself but others require the assistance of a certified consultant to interpret. If this is the case, you will be sent the information to arrange a session with's certified consultants. If the tool or inventory you selected does not required a counseling session but you have questions, you can contact this person for more assistance. One-on-one counseling sessions are also available for a fee.

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