Career research allows you to be fully informed of all the options and opportunities presenting themselves to you in your career search. Evaluate all your options before committing to a decision
If you are researching a specific career, take a look at the requirements, job duties and work environment to ensure this is compatible with your personality and skills. An introvert, for example, would likely not be comfortable in a marketing environment and an individual who faints at the sight of blood would probably not be suited for work in a hospital. You can also take a career aptitude test to identify ideal career paths for you based on your interests and skills.
Thorough research of your future career opportunities provides invaluable insight into other factors surrounding the occupation that may influence whether or not it is something you could see yourself doing over the long term. Work hours, location, job outlook and future advancement opportunities may influence your decision to pursue this occupation or to seek another one that better fulfills your professional needs. Health care jobs, for example, have a favorable job outlook but require grueling schedules that may not be ideal for everyone.
It’s important to review the educational and work experience requirements to gain entry to fields you are considering so you can create an action plan to ensure you meet your goal of obtaining employment in the field chosen. The first requirement you should look at is what type of degree is required and what type of classes you will need to take. How long will it take you to complete your degree program and will the courses interest you? The second factor to consider is whether or not you will need any relevant work experience in addition to your degree to begin working in this occupation. If this is a requirement, start early by doing volunteer work in your field or network to line up an internship for your junior year of college.
Researching the average rate of pay for your chosen career will give you a realistic idea of the salary range you can expect to earn. Knowing the average entry-level salary, as well as the range you can expect to earn over time can help you determine if this career path pays well enough to meet your lifestyle needs. Although salary is not the sole factor to use when making this decision, it certainly is a critical key to the puzzle.
Researching your career also is a great aid for interviews and job performance. Through research, you will become familiar with the industry’s accepted best practices, common routines and expectations. Additionally, being familiar with the career you wish to pursue can impress hiring decision makers. Recruiters often admire individuals who are confident and familiar with the choices they are making and understand why they wish to be in the field.
Career research offers someone a preview of a career prior to committing themselves to a specific job. Often, a career path can have associated elements which an individual despises and would have prevented them from accepting the job in the first place. By researching a career, these elements can be fleshed out ahead of time rather than after they have accepted a job (potentially signing a contract with the employer).
Career research can come in many forms. It ranges from informational interviews with companies and individuals to finding out about typical salaries from an online search engine. Since there are many forms of career research, the best method to become familiar with a career is to immerse yourself in it. Start speaking with individuals in the field and professors who teach about the topic, as well as research websites that are dedicated to it.
A central benefit of career research is the ability to develop a career path objective. Once aware of a career’s aspects, you can target jobs/positions within that career that you would like to one day have. Research allows you to see how other people have risen in a similar career and how to learn and grow from their mistakes.
Although someone may have an plethora of research on a certain career, actually working in the field can be an unexpected environment. Remember that those providing the research collected may have different preferences and opinions. People should always view research with a grain of salt and be sure to keep an open mind.