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How do I explore careers?

Learn about a career and decide whether it is the right path for you.

Need Help?

Ask a Librarian @
Betty Sue Jessup Library

501 College Drive
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Career Exploration: Using the Library's Home Page


From the library's home page, search under FIND BOOKS to find print and electronic books about careers.  Click on the down arrow and select "subject," then format your search this way: (your term) AND vocational guidance.

Example: photography AND vocational guidance


From the library's home page, find articles about your chosen career by searching under FIND ARTICLES. Type your search this way: (your term) AND vocational guidance

Example: architecture AND vocational guidance

Career Exploration: Web Resources

Occupational Outlook Handbook Link:

Best site for researching career paths: Occupational Outlook Handbook

Other sites:

Explore career paths with this tool; learn about what skills, technology, and even personality are needed for a particular job.

Career information, plus tools such as a salary calculator

Another exploration tool with comprehensive information about career paths.

This site allows you look for jobs with the federal government. They provide separate links for people with disabilities, for veterans, and for senior executives.

Links provided by the U.S. State Department

Examine the zip codes where the wealthiest and most educated people live.

Compare the cost of living for two different cities.

Compare international locations.

Find real estate prices.


Career Exploration Practice

The activities below will allow you to familiarize yourself with helpful career resources.

1. Go to the Occupational Outlook Handbook

  • Name 2 occupations listed as the highest paying
  • Name 2 occupations listed as the fastest growing

2. Go back to the Occupational Outlook Handbook

  • Under Occupation Groups, select a group, then pick a career.
  • Write down 3 facts about the career you selected.
  • Be prepared to share the 3 facts with the class.

3. Go to the library's home page

  • Under FIND BOOKS, search for books about the careers listed below (remember to format the search using occupation name AND vocational guidance -- for example: medicine AND vocational guidance)
    • photography
    • nursing
    • chef
    • police officer
  • Select 2 books from the results list
  • Be prepared to share the title, author, and year of publication with the class


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