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