How to Conduct Career Research

Regardless of where you are in your career — whether you are unsure where to begin or you are preparing for a final round interview — conducting research can help you learn more about and prepare for potential career opportunities. There are many ways to gather information when you’re in the beginning stages of exploring your options, including career research and networking. Below you’ll find ideas and general resources to get started. Use the online resources to gain preliminary information about industries and job titles, then connect to professionals for conversations where you can ask questions and hear the details and realities of the paths that interest you. In addition, once you’ve narrowed your interests to a particular industry, refer to the industry-specific resources listed on the applicable Career Community page.

As you learn more about a particular career path, be sure to stop and reflect on what you have learned. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I still interested in this career path?
  • What excites me the most about this role/industry?
  • What concerns do I have about this line of work?
  • Can I see myself working in this environment?
  • Does this path capitalize on my strengths?
  • Does this path align with my values?
  • What skills do I need to develop?
  • What information am I still missing?

As you conduct your career research, we encourage you to make an appointment with your College Career Mentor or Career Community Advisor to discuss your reflections, learnings and ideas further. These appointments will be helpful in identifying next steps in terms of your research and exploration.

 

Going Global

Going Global
Going Global is the leading provider of both country-specific and USA city-specific career and employment information. It is a great resource for international students who are hoping to find opportunities within the United States and any student who is interested in working abroad. Learn about employment practices, workplace culture, and key industries of 40+ countries, and more!
 

The Wellesley Hive

In May 2017, Career Education and the Wellesley College Alumnae Association launched The Wellesley Hive, a platform where current Wellesley students and alumnae can mentor, or be mentored. It is a  platform where you can ask questions and seek guidance, coach and inspire, and find paths to professional aspirations. Think of it as a digital space exclusively for Wellesley.

The Wellesley Hive is designed to be flexible, user-friendly, and interactive. Key features of the platform include the ability to:

  • Search and connect with the Wellesley Network as a mentor, mentee, or both
  • Customize involvement levels and fully manage your time commitment as a mentor
  • Search for opportunities shared by fellow alumnae and Career Education
  • Discover and post event listings, including networking mixers, career fairs, conferences, and more
  • Join discussion groups to connect with others around shared career interests and identities
  • Learn more about forming meaningful mentorship relationships through digital resources
     

LinkedIn

LinkedIn
With over 350 million users across the globe, LinkedIn is a go-to resource for networking, and also a great tool for career research. Here are a few ways to use LinkedIn to explore career paths and options:

  • Find and connect with professionals for informational interviews using the Wellesley College Alumnae pages or the “Find Alumni” tool offered by LinkedIn
  • See where others with your major now work, and what types of jobs, experiences and education they’ve had
  • Research companies using individual company pages
  • Stay current of news and events using LinkedIn Pulse
  • Participate in career-specific groups with others sharing your interest
     

O*NET

Using O*NET OnLine, you can find detailed descriptions for very specific job types in many different fields. You can browse different occupations by their outlook, by field, skills used, or jobs specific to STEM or in the Green Economy Sectors.
 

Occupational Outlook Handbook

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, can help you find basic career information on duties, education and training, pay and outlook for hundreds of occupations. To get started, choose an Occupation Group to explore, then learn about common job functions within that interest area of field.
 

Vault

Wellesley College provides you complete access to Vault.com, an online tool for career research and preparation. Vault provides in-depth knowledge and information on what it’s really like to work in certain industries and professions. You can also use Vault to research background information about companies, schools, and internships.

To start learning about various career fields based on your interests, select “Career Resources” from the top navigation and select “Industries” from the drop-down. For each industry, an extensive overview is provided, along with background on the industry, structure, and helpful resources and specific organizations to continue your specific learning and information gathering. At the bottom of each industry page, Vault will provide you with a list of related professions & companies.

Also under the “Career Resources” section, you can select “Professions.” In particular, if you are not sure where to begin, this is a good place to start. Select “Browse All Professions” which will allow you to search for professions based on your favorite subjects, areas of interest, and personality traits (among other search criteria).

Connecting to Wellesley’s Career Communities

As you get further along in your career research, you may sense your career interests begin to narrow. Particular industries may intrigue you more than others and even within a given industry, you may find yourself more excited by a certain niche area. As your interests become more clear, connecting with one of Wellesley College’s Career Communities are a great way to further explore career options in these areas. A career community is a group of professionals linked together by a common industry area and includes your peers, your Career Community Advisor, alumnae, employers, faculty and so on.  Connecting with these communities provides you with opportunities to:

  • Meet with a Career Community Advisor for your specific career interests
  • Familiarize yourself with career options and opportunities connected to your interest areas and how to prepare for them
  • Look through job specific search engines and read through job descriptions to get ideas of what you might, or might not be interested in
  • Attend on and off campus events to learn more about careers in this field
  • Gain advice and knowledge from experts, alumnae and employers within this field
  • Connect with and learn from professionals with careers you’re interested in through events, job shadows, informational interviews, and mentorship

 

Wellesley College’s Career Communities

Not sure what Career Community Advisor is right for you? Reach out to your College Career Mentor who will be able to help you learn more about your values, interests, personality, and skills and how they might overlap to one or more of our Career Communities.

Sign Up For Career Community Newsletters
Finally, if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up to receive newsletters and information from your Career Communities. To do this, log into Handshake, select “Career Interests,” and complete the brief survey.