They say that if you can’t make a decision, then you probably don’t have all of the information. When it comes to choosing a career, a lot of factors may impact your decision, including daily duties, salary, and future demand. Fortunately, Uncle Sam has created a Web site to make your life just a little bit easier.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook is your definitive guide to industry trends, salaries, and employment projections for hundreds of careers. It’s published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which keeps tabs on tons of employment-related data so that you don’t have to.
If you’re among the lucky few that already know what they want to do after college graduation, you can head straight for the search box. From the home page, click on the OOH Search/A-Z Index and type in your profession of choice. You’ll find info on job duties, working conditions, median salary, opportunities for advancement, and other nuts and bolts of the profession. If you can’t immediately find what you’re looking for, broaden your search. (For instance, instead of “graphic designer,” try “designer.”)
If you haven’t settled on a specific occupation, browse the Career Guide to Industries section for an overview of fields ranging from advertising to wholesale trade. Then check out the Frequently Asked Questions section to discover the fastest-growing industries and jobs.
Once you’ve set your sites on a career, be sure to peruse Other OOH Info for tips on everything from crafting your résumé to evaluating a job offer. If you’re open to relocating, then the link to state occupational projections will come in handy. This site breaks down employment projections by state, so you can find out where your skills are most in-demand.
In addition to these handy tools, Occupational Outlook Handbook is chockfull of statistics on unemployment, job turnover, and other information that’ll help you stay marketable in the 21st century.