Good sources of career information include school career offices, government agencies, and career counselors. In addition, libraries and various websites may also provide information for individuals who are interested in learning more about specific jobs and careers. In many cases, it is a good idea to investigate several different sources of career information in order to get a full and accurate picture of what it is like to work in a particular field. It is also important for researchers to consider that career opportunities may differ significantly depending on geographical location. As such, a search for quality information about occupations should include a review of information provided by experts working and writing within a particular community.
Career centers at high schools, vocational schools, and universities provide significant amounts of quality career information at no cost to students and alumni. These services vary, but may include access to proprietary career and job databases, access to occupational manuals and books, as well as assessment services. Assessment services may allow students and alumni to take skills assessment tests that can help them identify their strengths and choose a suitable career path. Career centers may also offer free or low-cost job counseling to students. A career center may also sponsor visits from professionals from various fields who can talk to students and alumni about their jobs.
In many countries, there are several agencies that address labor-related issues. For example, in the United States, the Department of Labor tracks a variety of trades and professions and provides helpful information, including job prospects, expected salaries, and information about the nature of specific jobs in the form of its Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is available both online as well as in libraries. Governments may also sponsor community-based job centers that may provide comprehensive career information and assessment services. In the United States, these centers may be incorporated into unemployment offices, though career services may be available to any community member, not just to those who currently receive unemployment benefits.
Job fairs can also be excellent sources of career information. In many cases, these fairs are open to the public and give job seekers an opportunity to speak with representatives from many different companies regarding career opportunities. For somebody who is undecided about a career, this can be a great way to learn about different industries and the opportunities within them. Information about job fairs can often be found through school career offices as well as local government employment agencies.