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Career Exploration

Resources for Exploring Careers

Occupational Outlook Handbook-  Provides detailed information on occupations including job outlook, earnings, and educational requirements.

O*Net- Provides descriptions of hundreds of occupations searchable by job title, interests, skills, and workplace values.  

The Career Zone-  A comprehensive career exploration and planning system.

Citytown.com-  Provides access to career stories in 300 occupations.  Also included is salary information, top cities for various career paths, top jobs in various cities, and top industries by geographical location.

Roadtrip Nation-  The Roadtrip Nation philosophy encourages individuals to define their own road in life.  Watch videos and learn how others have discovered their passions and career paths.

Additional Strategies for Exploring Careers
Informational Interviews-  This is a great way to get practical information about specific careers. By talking directly with someone already in the field, you gain first-hand knowledge about the expectations and tasks involved in an occupation, which can help you make more informed choices about your future.  Most professionals are very happy to share their knowledge and expertise about their field of study/work.   

Job Shadowing- This is an opportunity to spend time (a few hours to a few days) with a professional currently working in a field of interest.  It is a great way to test your interest in a specific career, learn about what a particular job is like on a daily basis, develop professional contacts, and experience the culture of an organization. 

Volunteer Work is a service opportunity which may help you to further develop your leadership and interpersonal skills while cultivating your understanding of citizenship and community.  Volunteer experiences are available in a wide variety of organizations.  If you are interested in teaching, look for opportunities with children, if you are interested in writing, look for opportunities to write or edit.  Visit the KU Community Outreach Center for  local opportunities or www.VolunteerMatch.org,  Idealist, United Way of Berks County, or The Volunteer Center for the Lehigh Valley for regional and national opportunities. 

Summer/Part-Time Employment allows you to develop marketable skills, gain experience, and make new contacts.  Look for opportunities that allow you to apply knowledge and skills related to your career goal.  All employment, even jobs that are not directly related to your major can help you develop communication, leadership, and organizational skills needed in the workplace.  For on-campus employment visit KUCN.

Internships are carefully monitored work or volunteer experiences with intentional learning goals that give you on-the-job training and practical experience.  Internships can last one semester, or can be longer/shorter.  Some are paid positions while others allow you to earn academic credit. You can intern in almost any area of study in almost any part of the country, or even abroad.