Career Exploration & Planning

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An important part of any career development plan includes career exploration. Career exploration involves gathering information about potential careers (research), conducting informational interviews and job shadowing if feasible. Use the information and resources on this page to get the most out of your career exploration experience. When you have finished exploring, map out your career plan before making a move.


Occupation Information on the Internet

A plethora of career information is available on the internet. In addition to the following websites, you can visit the websites of professional associations that represent your career of interest.

General Occupational Information

Understanding the labor market in the career field in which you are interested can help you make informed decisions. These sites can give you the inside scoop.

  • Occupational Outlook Handbook – find career information on duties, education and training, pay and outlook for hundreds of occupations.
  • O*Net – provides detailed descriptions of the world of work.
  • What Can I Do with a Major in ...? – provides a list of careers, workplaces and strategies based on your major.
  • MyPlan – comprehensive tools and resources to assist you in making career decisions.
  • Jobstr – ask people anything about their jobs online.
  • CareerBliss – provides over 4 million salaries and 700,000 company reviews.
  • Career Videos – Career videos organized into 16 clusters on related types of work.
  • Hot Jobs for the Future – Displays jobs that will grow rapidly in the next few years or will have large numbers of openings.
  • America's Career InfoNet – provides detailed information about various careers, training skills needed, jobs, wages and industry information.
  • California Labor Market Information - providing information to help people understand California's economy and make informed labor market choices.
  • U.S. Dept of Labor – provides labor market information nationwide.

Industry Specific Information


General Information

  • Careers in Business – find out employment projections in business careers as well, job summary, salaries, and entry-level requirements.



  • Be an Actuary – learn about the job outlook, salary, how to become an actuary and more.


  • Banking Jobs – explore the major job types and employers in banking.

General Information

  • Science Careers – provides exercises to help Ph.D.-bound students examine their skills, interests and values; 20 career paths that best fit their skills and interests; strategic goal-setting tools; and articles/resources to guide them through the process.

Environmental Sciences/Studies

Social Work
  • The New Social Worker – quarterly newsletter with articles for students on social work ethics, field placement, practice issues, practice specialties, technology in social work, book reviews and more.
  • California Teaching Fellows – provides next-generation teachers with after-school programs, summer learning opportunities and scholarship programs.
  • Teach California – provides information on different teaching requirements along with personal career plan and checklist.

Informational Interviews

Gathering information about a specific occupation or industry by talking with people working in the field is called informational interviewing. It can be a very valuable tool in making informed decisions about your career path.

The Informational Interviewing Network is a group of FPU alumni and friends who have agreed to be available to FPU students to talk with them about their careers. To access this network or find out more information, please call or visit the CDELC. LinkedIn also has a new career advice tool you can use as well.

The LiveCareer Ultimate Guide to an Informational Interview provides information on how to conduct an informational interview and questions to ask.

Job Shadowing

What is Job Shadowing?

Students "shadow" a workplace professional as they walk through a typical day on the job. The student observes the employee's work duties, interactions with customers and/or coworkers and other aspects of the job to gather career-related information and see firsthand how their skills and classwork relate to the workplace.

What Are the Benefits of Job Shadowing?

  • Presents facts about an occupation that can assist in making a career decision.
  • Provides students with a more realistic view of what is required for the actual job from someone who works in the field.
  • Exposes students to the actual occupational environment and workplace climate.
  • Establishes valuable network contacts that could lead to future job opportunities.
  • Assists students in developing communication skills as they talk with professionals.

Job Shadowing Resources

Career Planning

  • Sample Career Plan – try mapping out your career plan with this example of a career plan.