Career Information

Listed below are several places to begin collecting information on careers and job opportunities.


Links to other Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

Personal contacts. The people close to you—your family and friends—can be extremely helpful in providing career information. They may be able to answer your questions directly or put you in touch with someone else who can. Networking can lead to meeting someone who can answer your questions about a specific career or company, and who can provide inside information and other helpful hints. It is an effective way to learn the type of training necessary for a certain position, how someone in that position entered the field, the prospects for advancement, and what they like and dislike about the work.

Public libraries, career centers, and guidance offices. These institutions maintain a great deal of up-to-date material. To begin your library search, look at the computer listings under "vocations" or "careers" and then under specific fields. Check the periodicals section, where trade and professional magazines and journals about specific occupations and industries are located. Become familiar with the concerns and activities of potential employers by skimming their annual reports and other public documents. Occupational information on video cassettes and through computerized information systems or the Internet can be valuable. Don’t forget the librarians; they can be a great source and can save you valuable time by directing you to relevant information.

Check your school’s career centers for resources such as individual counseling and testing, guest speakers, field trips, books, career magazines, and career days.

Always assess career guidance materials carefully. The information should be current and objective. Beware of materials that seem to glamourize the occupation, overstate the earnings, or exaggerate the demand for workers.

Counselors. These professionals are trained to help you discover your strengths and weaknesses, evaluate your goals and values, and help you determine what you would like in a career. Counselors will not tell you what to do. However, they may administer interest inventories and aptitude tests, interpret the results, and help you explore various options. Counselors also may discuss local job markets and the entry requirements and costs of schools, colleges, or training programs. Counselors are found in:

  • High school guidance offices
  • College career planning and placement offices
  • Placement offices in private vocational or technical schools and institutions
  • Vocational rehabilitation agencies
  • Counseling services offered by community organizations
  • Private counseling agencies and private practices
  • State employment service offices

Before employing the services of a private counselor or agency, you may want to seek recommendations and check their credentials. The International Association of Counseling Services (IACS) accredits counseling services throughout the country. To receive a listing of accredited services for your region, send a self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope to:

The Directory of Counseling Services, an IACS publication providing employment counseling and other assistance, may be available in your library or school career counseling center. A list of certified career counselors by city or State is available from:

  • The National Board of Certified Counselors, 3 Terrace Way, Suite D, Greensboro, NC 27403-3660. Phone: (334) 547-0607. Internet: http://www.nbcc.org

Internet networks and resources. The growth of on-line listings has made countless resources instantly available at any time. Most companies, professional societies, academic institutions, and government agencies maintain Internet sites that highlight the organization’s latest information and activities.

Listings may include information such as government documents, schedules of events, and job openings. Listings for academic institutions often provide links to career counseling and placement services through career resource centers, as well as information on financing your education. Colleges and universities also offer on-line guides to campus facilities and admission requirements and procedures.

The variety of career information available through the internet provide much of the same information available through libraries, career centers, and guidance offices. However, no single network or resource will contain all desired information, so be prepared to search a variety of places. As in a library search, look through various lists by field or discipline, or by using keywords.

Career sites can be an excellent place to obtain information about job opportunities. They provide a forum for employers to list job openings and for individuals to post their resumés. Some Internet sites may also provide an opportunity to research a particular industry or company.

America’s Job Bank (AJB), administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, lists as many as 1 million job openings on any given day. These job openings are compiled by State employment service offices throughout the Nation. AJB is accessible at: http://www.ajb.dni.us

Professional societies, trade associations, labor unions, business firms, and educational institutions. These organizations provide a variety of free or inexpensive career material. Many of these are in an additional information section of the Handbook. For information on occupations not covered in the Handbook, consult directories in your library’s reference section for the names of potential sources. You may start with The Guide to American Directories or The Directory of Directories. Another useful resource is The Encyclopedia of Associations, an annual publication listing trade associations, professional societies, labor unions, and fraternal and patriotic organizations.

The National Technical Information Service Audiovisual Center, a central source for audiovisual material produced by the U.S. Government, sells material on jobs and careers. For a catalog, contact:

Federal Government. Information on employment with the Federal Government is available from the Office of Personnel Management. Consult your telephone directory under U.S. Government for a local number or call (912) 757-3100; TDD (912) 744-2299.

Organizations for specific groups. The organizations listed below provide information on career planning, training, or job opportunities prepared for specific groups. Consult directories in your library’s reference center or a career guidance office for information on additional organizations associated with specific groups.

Disabled workers:

Counseling, training, and placement services for those with disabilities is available from:

Blind workers:

Information on the free national reference and referral service for the blind can be obtained by contacting:

  • National Federation of the Blind, Job Opportunities for the Blind (JOB), 1800 Johnson St., Baltimore, MD 21230. Phone: (410) 659-9314. Internet: http://www.nfb.org

Older workers:

  • National Association of Older Workers Employment Services, c/o National Council on the Aging, 409 3rd St. SW., Suite 200, Washington, DC 20024. Phone: (202) 479-1200.
  • National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, Inc., 1424 K St. NW., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Phone: (202) 637-8400. Internet: http://www.ncba-blackaged.org
  • Asociación Nacional pro Personas Mayores (National Association for Hispanic Elderly), 234 East Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101. Phone: (626) 564-1988.


  • Wider Opportunities for Women, 815 15th St. NW., Suite 916, Washington, DC 20005. Phone: (202) 638-3143. Internet: http://www.wowonline.org

Federal laws, executive orders, and selected Federal grant programs bar discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, and handicap. Information on how to file a charge of discrimination is available from U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offices around the country. Their addresses and telephone numbers are listed in telephone directories under U.S. Government, EEOC.


Learn about: Education and training information

Select a letter