Conducting Career Research

Like writing a paper, planning for your future takes time and research.

Conducting Career Research

You have lots of things to look forward to! When it comes to your career trajectory, there are plenty of things to consider, and you’ll want to do research on career fields, industries and roles to ensure your next step is right for you.

  • What information might be helpful to focus on as you learn about fields of interest, industries, and roles 
  • Questions to ask yourself when engaging in research 
  • Additional tools for information gathering on occupations 

You May Want to Explore

When exploring career paths, it’s essential to tap into diverse sources for accurate and current information. Keep in mind that job titles often vary, so it’s valuable to think creatively and incorporate multiple variations of titles and keywords during your research.

Industries, such as: banking, healthcare, education, manufacturing  

Career fields, such as: finance, nursing, teaching, supply chain  

Occupations, such as: loan officer, pediatric nurse, elementary teacher, financial analyst  

Jobs at specific organizations, such as: Youth Director @ YMCA; Engineer at Ecolab  

Resources for Career Research

The most effective way to research careers is through a combination of online resources and in-person resources, such as: informational interviewing, job shadowing, or an internship in the field. 

We have a guide on conducting informational interviews, but before you start reaching out to people do some online research so you can be prepared with thoughtful questions to ask!  

Websites to get You Started

Labor Market Tool

This tool provides up-to-date data on employers, job titles and skills.

State of MN: Career & Education Explorer

The Career and Education Explorer lets you explore a wide range of occupations and related education in a single easy-to-use online tool. Explore Careers

Provides job descriptions, profiles, and requirements, employment outlook, and salary information for a variety of careers.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

CAREERwise – Minnesota Job and Career Information

CAREERwise supplies specific career information for Minnesota including assessments, job seeker services, Minnesota schools for continuing education, and employment statistics.


Explore different career pathways that make the most sense for your unique interests and values. Prepare for your future by learning about your gifts and the type of environment you need to succeed. PathwayU helps connect your results to careers and majors! Complete your 4 assessments (Interests, Values, Personality, and Workplace Preferences) in 20 – 25 minutes. Available to students and alumni for no cost!

What questions should you ask when conducting research?

  • What are the major responsibilities in this job?
  • What type of organizations typically hire for this field? What are the working conditions (ex. hours, travel, environment, etc.)?
  • What education/degree is required for this job?
  • What are the job titles for entry-level positions in this field? What are some typical career paths (i.e., places where an entry-level job in this field seem to lead – do people progress to higher-level positions? Go go graduate school?)
  • What is the projected employment outlook for this field? What is the entry-level salary range for this position?
  • What are some related career fields that I may want to research next? Based on my research, does this field seem like it aligns with who I am and my goals?
  • Jump into the websites to gather information
  • Learn more about informational interviews and use tools like St. Thomas Connect and LinkedIn to find individuals you can speak to when conducting your career research