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Conducting Career Research

Like writing a paper, planning for your future takes time and research.

Invest in Your Future

You have lots of things to look forward to! When it comes to your career trajectory, there are plenty of things to consider, and you’ll want to do research on career fields, industries and roles to ensure your next step is right for you.

Keep Reading to Learn:

  • What information might be helpful to focus on as you learn about fields of interest, industries, and roles
  • Questions to ask yourself when engaging in research
  • Additional tools for information gathering on occupations

You May Want to Explore

Industries Career fields Occupations Jobs at specific organizations
Banking, healthcare, education, manufacturing Finance, nursing, teaching, supply chain Loan officer, pediatric nurse, elementary teacher, financial analyst Youth Director at YMCA; Engineer at Ecolab

What questions should you ask when conducting research?

  • What are the major responsibilities in this job?
  • What type of organizations typically hire for this field?
  • What education/degree is required for this job?
  • What are the job titles for entry-level positions in this field?
  • What are some typical career paths (i.e. entry-level job - do people progress to higher-level positions? Graduate school?)
  • What is the projected employment outlook for this field? What is the entry-level salary range for this position?
  • What are some related career fields that I may want to research next?
  • Based on my research, does this field seem like it aligns with who I am and my goals?

Resources for Career Research

The most effective way to research careers is through a combination of online resources and in-person resources, such as informational interviewing, job shadowing, or an internship in the field.

We have a guide on conducting informational interviews, but before you start reaching out to people do some online research so you can be prepared with thoughtful questions to ask!

Websites to get You Started

Occupational Outlook Handbook

For hundreds of different types of jobs -- such as engineer, financial analyst, lawyer, and teacher -- the Occupational Outlook Handbook tells you the training and education needed, earnings expected, job prospects, what workers do on the job, and working conditions.

Candid Career

This resource features thousands of informational video interviews with industry professionals. They talk about what they love about their job and what its challenges are, along with how you can best prepare for a career like theirs.

State of MN: Career & Education Explorer

The Career and Education Explorer lets you explore a wide range of occupations and related education in a single easy-to-use online tool.

CAREERwise - Minnesota Job and Career Information

CAREERwise supplies specific career information for Minnesota including assessments, job seeker services, Minnesota schools for continuing education, and employment statistics.

Colleboard.com: Explore Careers

Provides job descriptions, profiles, and requirements, employment outlook, and salary information for a variety of careers.


Explore different career pathways that make the most sense for your unique interests and values. Prepare for your future by learning about your gifts and the type of environment you need to succeed. PathwayU helps connect your results to careers and majors! Complete your 4 assessments (Interests, Values, Personality, and Workplace Preferences) in 20 - 25 minutes. Available to students and alumni for no cost!

Next Steps

  • Jump into the websites to gather information
  • Learn more about informational interviews and use tools like St. Thomas Connect and LinkedIn to find individuals you can speak to when conducting your career research