Career Resources

Industry Exploration

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Learn about a variety of industries/career fields - and the types of jobs within them - by exploring the links below. This list groups industries together, not job functions (what an employee actually does). This can be confusing when an industry and job function overlap. For example, an accountant (job function) could work for an accounting firm (industry) or for a museum (another industry).

Industry and, more generally, career exploration is a learning process - a process which engages you with potential careers by accessing information on-line,in-person, or through experiential opportunities. It involves exploring career options that look interesting and intriguing - before determining which career you want to pursue. It begins with self-assessment as the cornerstone on which to build your career exploration process. As you begin to understand yourself better - your strengths and weaknesses; those tasks you enjoy and those you enjoy less; those environments you find stimulating and those you find less so; and the personal work characteristics you prefer, you will develop a set of "filters" you can use in assessing possible career choices and your potential for success in those environments. This is a life-long process, but starting now will be immensely valuable in facilitating your assessment of career options and goals.

The next step is, of course, to analyze in a more systematic way the kinds of work you find stimulating and satisfying. This involves conducting research utilizing a variety of avenues and resources, in order to assemble a comprehensive picture of career options and disciplines. More specifically, about the companies and industries that populate a field, the expectations of potential new hires, and the career paths available to new employees.The Industry Resources section of our website outlines many career options and provides a list of relevant websites providing information that will be useful as background research.

Another technique useful for gathering this type of information is informational interviewing. This involves speaking with professionals, friends, and colleagues about their engagement with a field or discipline.

Internships, summer positions,volunteering, and extra-curricular positions are another method for gaining information about potential careers. This approach has the benefit of providing direct experience and, of course, personal contacts within an industry. These experiences also afford opportunities to assess the work environment, your potential colleagues, and to learn the "language" of the industry.

More generally, you should stay on top of developments that might have an impact on your potential career. These include political, legislative, regulatory, and social developments. Monitoring newspapers or news websites is a good habit to develop and may even stimulate new career ideas. You should develop a sense of your chosen industry's history and, ideally, a sense of where it may be going and where new opportunities may arise in the future.

The work you do now in researching career options will pay dividends in your choice of a career now and further down the road as your career evolves.