Occupational Research

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

By Career Services

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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