Occupational Research

Gathering information about different occupations will help you discover whether a particular career is right for you. Using your self assessment results as your guide, take time to learn about a variety of occupations including the job duties, employment outlook, salaries, and educational and training requirements associated with each occupation. 

CareerBeam E-Library - The Riley Guide - Brings you the latest information on career management resources on the Internet. 

CareerOneStop -  Your source for career exploration, training & jobs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.

CareerOneStop Career Videos - Explore a collection of videos on hundreds of different careers. Videos include career details such as tasks, work settings, and education needed.

Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook - Find career information on duties, education and training, pay, and outlook for hundreds of occupations. 

O*Net Online - Review detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more!

Occupational Research Handout - Utilize this handout to assist you in compiling occupational and industry information.

Industry Research

Industries are defined by the processes used to produce goods and services. The types of industries in the US economy range widely - from educational services to finance and insurance. Lack of industry knowledge can add to the challenge of determining which direction is best for you.

Industry Research Tool - Offered by a division of First Research and Hoover's Inc., this tool provides hundreds of industry profiles, covering over 1000 industry segments. Profiles include in-depth national and international information, creating a comprehensive suite of data that is continuously updated.

Industry Information - CareerBeam offers creative ways to learn about industries and online exercises to assist you in narrowing your industry options while ensuring that your selections are a good fit.

Informational Interviews

An informational interview is a meeting in which a job seeker asks for career and industry advice.  The job seeker uses the interview to gather information on the field, to find employment leads, and expand their professional network. This differs from a job interview because the job seeker asks the questions.

Informational interviews allow you to:

  • Explore your career options and clarify your goals 
  • Learn more about an organization, their needs and the requirements for a particular job 
  • Generate job leads 
  • Network with decision-makers and expand your professional network 
  • Build confidence in yourself, your job search process, and your interview skills 
  • Demonstrate professionalism, initiative, and motivation to a prospective employer
  • Take control of your job search by interviewing an employer before you even apply for the job


Informational Interviews - Learn more on how to set up an informational interview.

Informational Interview Questions - Consider a comprehensive list of potential questions to ask in an informational interview.

Informational Interview Outreach via LinkedIn - Review an sample outreach message to arrange an informational interview through LinkedIn.