ERIC Identifier: ED308398
Publication Date: 1989-00-00
Author: Wagner, Judith O.
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Adult Career and Vocational Education Columbus OH.
Locating Job Information. ERIC Digest No. 85.
More and more people are looking for and changing jobs and careers more
often. There are workshops, books, journals, special sections of newspapers, and
many other sources for the person who is considering a new career or a career
change. Good sources of occupational information are public libraries, state
departments of education, and high school and postsecondary career centers. This
ERIC Digest discusses how to locate information that can be used in career
Public libraries in most cities have career/occupational information
collections. Although specific services and titles available may differ, the
basic collections are very similar. These collections include the following: o
Printed resources in the library --lists of local, state, and federal government
opportunities and how to apply for them --newspapers from all over the
country --state and local job listings --bibliographies of resources on various
aspects of a job
search --special supplements and job-hunters' newspapers --lists of foreign
job opportunities and how to apply for them --descriptions of all types of jobs
o Information about associations --directories with names, addresses,
information --joblines or hotlines with information about employment in the
profession --information about interviews at conferences --information on
workshops and seminars o Information about local sources of job information,
workshops, and so forth o Information on specific careers --salary levels
--qualifications/education required --benefits --job market outlook --job
descriptions --aptitude/interest tests o Information about potential employers,
such as --size of company --location of offices --types of jobs available
--salaries o Information for special populations --people over 40 --women
--minorities --handicapped persons --midlife career changers o Information on
job search methods --how to decide which career is best for you --how to write a
resume --how to prepare for an interview o Sample military and civil service
Most public as well as university libraries have sample tests for specific
occupations such as air traffic controller, beginning office worker, and mail
handler, as well as general tests and other materials that would prepare you for
any civil service test, for example, tests for women in the armed forces,
practice for Army classification, general test practice for 101 jobs, home study
course for civil service jobs, and mastering writing skills for civil service
The career information is in a variety of formats. Some public libraries have
regularly scheduled workshops on locating information about occupations; they
all have reference and circulating copies of books; they might have
bibliographies or a pamphlet file with information about specific careers as
well as about writing resumes, preparing for interviews, and so on. They may
also have a listing of the jobs available through their state Bureau of
STATE DEPARTMENTS OF EDUCATION
Most state departments of
education have career information systems that are available to just about
anyone through a variety of delivery systems. For example, the Ohio Career
Information System (OCIS) is a computer-based guidance information system that
provides instantaneous access to a wealth of educational and occupational
information. Houghton Mifflin's Guidance Information System (GIS) provides the
primary national data and the Department of Education adds details about Ohio.
Information in the database includes employment projections, salary levels, job
descriptions, financial aid opportunities, lists of various postsecondary
schools, military occupations, entrepreneurship programs--a total of 13 separate
files. OCIS is available through 26 data centers, in many local school
districts, and in public libraries.
Those who want to access their state occupational information system should
go either to their local public library or to the state department of education.
If the system is not available for public access through the state department,
individuals will be referred to an appropriate source.
SCHOOL CAREER CENTERS
In addition to the public library,
secondary and postsecondary career or guidance offices have information on
specific careers. Often called the Office of Career Development, their services
include a resource room, workshops, and other career-related programs. Typical
topics covered are career planning, resume writing, job search methods, and
interviewing. They also have interest inventories that will make career decision
making a little easier. Again, if you have decided on the career that is best
for you, they have information on specific jobs just as the public library does.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
What this means is that everyone has
access to information about deciding upon a career, writing a resume, looking
for a job, interviewing, and keeping a job. There are materials on the job
market outlook, salary levels, opportunities for advancement in a given career,
and working conditions. The best place to start when looking for information on
a new career is the career information department of your public library.
Although each library and career center will have its own collection of
resources on occupational information, there are some standard reference
sources. They include the following: THE CAREER GUIDE. 1989. Parsippany, NJ:
Dun's Employment Opportunities Directory, 1988.
This guide contains up-to-date, comprehensive, accurate coverage on employers
and career opportunities. It includes lists of U.S. companies with 1,000 or more
employees with the name and address of the company, an overview of the company,
what opportunities are available, location of offices, benefits, and the name of
a contact person. CAREER INFORMATION CENTER. 3rd ed. Mission Hills, CA:
The CAREER INFORMATION CENTER consists of 600 occupational profiles in which
3,000 jobs are discussed. The profiles include work characteristics, job entry,
education and training requirements, advancement possibilities, employment
outlook, and earnings and benefits. Gale, Barry, and Gale, Linda. DISCOVER WHAT
YOU'RE BEST AT: THE NATIONAL CAREER APTITUDE SYSTEM AND CAREER DIRECTORY. New
York: Simon and Schuster, 1982.
This self-administered and self-scored career aptitude evaluation system is
designed to help identify career strengths, set career goals, evaluate one's job
potential, and familiarize oneself with possible careers. Hopke, William E.,
editor-in-chief. THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CAREERS AND VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE. 7th ed.
Chicago: J. G. Ferguson Publishing Co., 1987.
This encyclopedia is based on the DICTIONARY OF OCCUPATIONAL TITLES. The
three-volume work includes detailed information on careers, personality needed
for specific jobs, education required, available opportunities, related
occupations, and beginning salary levels. Toropon, Brandon, managing ed. 1988
NATIONAL JOB BANK. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Bob Adams, Inc., 1987.
The NATIONAL JOB BANK discusses common areas of hiring activity, educational
background needed, and benefits offered for specific occupations. It includes
names, addresses, and phone numbers of those to contact for information about
available jobs. It also includes a state-by-state list of companies, what they
do, and whom they hire. U.S. Department of Labor. DICTIONARY OF OCCUPATIONAL
TITLES. 4th ed. Washington, DC: U.S. Employment Service, 1977.
The DICTIONARY OF OCCUPATIONAL TITLES (DOT) gives comprehensive, standardized
descriptions of duties of 20,000 occupations. It is designed to match job
requirements and worker skills. U.S. Department of Labor. OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK
HANDBOOK. 1988-89 ed. Washington, DC: DOL, April 1988.
This handbook includes information about specific jobs, working conditions,
training and education needed, projected earnings, and job prospects. Wright,
John W. THE AMERICAN ALMANAC OF JOBS AND SALARIES. 1987-88 EDITION. 3rd ed. New
York: Avon, 1987.
This almanac includes job descriptions, predictions for employment
opportunities, salary data by place, jobs for recent college graduates, and a
comparison of salary by city/region/state/company for all types of jobs.