Researching your job field

  • Skills and qualifications required
  • Sources of qualifications
  • Cost of qualifications

Jobs

  • Entry level job requirements
  • Employers providing entry level jobs and training
  • Employment wages and conditions
  • Job ads and related job criteria

Career opportunities

  • Career tracks
  • Employers in this field

Sources of information

The best place to start is with industry sources. All the basic information will be available on industry association websites, which are particularly important as an ongoing research tool.

We can't emphasize strongly enough the importance of currency of information in researching any field of employment. Old information is often misleading. Many industries are redesigning and remodeling themselves, and the change is constant and pervasive.

To make sure your research information is up to date you need:

  • Industry news sources. These are easy enough to find, but quality varies. You need to look for sources that cover your areas of interest in depth.
  • Industry publications and newsletters. These are regular sources of information, not necessarily up to the minute, but are good for current background information.
  • A good grasp of issues and employment developments. To research any job field, you need to be very much up to date with the current state of the industry and the big issues. Employment issues in particular are very important in any sort of career research. You need to see well ahead what opportunities and obstacles are coming up.

The 'don'ts' in researching your job field

There are some serious 'don'ts' in researching any area of employment:

Don't rely on a single source of information. Double check everything. This gives you a good grounding on your subjects, and a chance to check for any contradictions and information source quality. If one source says one thing, and another says something else, you know you need to do some more looking.

Don't assume information, particularly in industry blogs or advertisements, is accurate or useful. Some are anything but accurate, and others are more of a sales pitch than actual information. Some are selling training that isn't even accredited. Keep checking.

Don't settle for vague information, or any degree of hype. This is non information. Anybody can say, 'There are great opportunities for careers.' It means nothing. Look for proof that a job field can deliver what you want.

Do your research thoroughly. Make sure you have information you can trust.