Occupational Research

The more you understand about an occupation, industry, or academic program, the more informed your career decisions will be.

Simply the process of learning more about a career direction by researching it's many different facets. Occupational Research can involve reading books / web sites, interviewing professionals in the occupation, visiting schools, talking with professors / instructors, volunteering, job shadowing, etc.

To make sound decisions about your future, you need to take a good look at all the options you are considering. The more you understand about an occupation, industry, or academic program, the more informed your career decisions will be.

What should I research?

To help you decide if a career option is right for you, the following is a great list of things to explore:

What is the nature of the work?

  • Definition of the occupation
  • Why the job exists and the purpose of serves
  • Major duties and responsibilities
  • Specializations available

What education, training, and experience is needed?

  • Post-secondary degrees, certificates, or diplomas
  • Specific courses
  • Required work experience or apprenticeships
  • Recognized / accredited educational programs

What personal qualifications, skills, and abilities are required?

  • Abilities, skills, or aptitudes needed to enter the field
  • Physical strengths or demands
  • Licencing, certification, or other legal requirements
  • Special requirements that are an asset (e.g. second language, excellent vision)

What are the typical earnings and benefits?

  • Note regional differences
  • Starting, average, and top income levels
  • Fringe benefits typically offered (e.g. pension, paid education, company vehicle)

What are the working conditions?

  • Physical working conditions (e.g. office, outside, factory) and hazards associated with the occupation
  • Work schedule (e.g. weekend, shift, seasonal)
  • Opportunities for initiative, creativity, self-management, and recognition
  • Equipment, supplies, tools, and materials to be supplied by the worker

Where do they typically work?

  • Type of organizations in which employment is found (e.g. banks, government, hospitals, self-employment)
  • Geographical areas where employment within this occupation is predominantly found

What is the outlook for employment and advancement?

  • Traditional ways of getting started in this occupation
  • Employment trends for this occupation
  • Advancement or promotion opportunities
  • Stability of employment

What kind of person would you typically find in this occupation?

  • Personality traits
  • Average age ranges found in this occupation
  • Percentage of male and female workers
  • Values of people found in this occupation
  • Society's perception of this occupation

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