Career Research: Factors to Consider

With a 17 year old at home and college on the horizon, there’s a lot of talk at my house about college majors and potential careers. Right now, we are talking about possibilities and looking at what it would be like to be a biochemist, a computer scientist, a lawyer, or a physician’s assistant. It’s a fun time and no commitment is necessary.

However, keeping the conversation going about careers is important to me because when I was 17, I gave little thought to career options and life after college graduation, and headed straight for a first career that I did not like at all.

My experience is not unusual, and a lot of people have taken some twists and turns to get to a career that they enjoy and suits them. There are many factors to consider when choosing one’s career, and a little career research can aid people in choosing a suitable career path.  Having a natural aptitude for the career is at the top of my list for importance when choosing a career but there is also the position’s pay, job outlook, and required education to take into consideration.

Whether you’re figuring out your first career or wanting to make a career change, below is a list of resources to tryout.


Pay is often the top criteria for people when choosing a career, and although it is an important part of the equation, there are many miserable people in high paying jobs. However, we all need to make money and with Career Coach, you can find pertinent information on wages, the number employed in the area and an estimated  number of job openings all geared towards Northern Colorado.

Job Outlook

Before investing money and resources in a career, an important question to ask is How hard will it be to find a job in this field or industry? Keeping the job outlook in mind for your career will give you an indication of whether it’s going to be a struggle to find employment.

The My Next Move website features a clean interface that will give you job outlook information and other key information about each occupation.

Daily Job Tasks

What will I be doing on a daily basis? Will I like it?

The Occupational Outlook Handbook has an abundant amount of information to help answer those questions. In the free online handbook, you can learn about key job responsibilities and tasks to make a determination as to whether they are something you’ll enjoy doing.

Required Education

The Library District’s Career Cruising database offers information on all aspects of careers, but it also takes you to a wealth of information on education and training as well as which schools offer various degrees based on geography. A library card is needed to use this resource.

Similar Careers

If I want to be a biological technician, I might also want to be a cytogenetic technologist, a quality control analyst, or a food technician. With the website My Skills My Future, all you have to do is type in a job and you’ll see a list of alternative careers that require a similar skill set.

Have questions about using these resources?

Email Molly Thompson, Jobs & Career Librarian

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