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Career Basics: How to Choose a Career / Occupation

Assessment Tools | Job Shadowing | Online Career Profiles

Assessment Tools
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

America's Career Infonet 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 explore this EXCELLENT source for career information. This site is located at: 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.