Researching Career Ideas


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This is one of the most important stages in career planning but it’s also the part that many young people fail to do properly.

YOU are the person who will have to get up and actually do this job so it’s really important to spend as much time as possible finding out about what your chosen career actually involves.



Broaden your knowledge and understanding of the opportunities available to you!

Once you have worked out what you have to OFFER / WANT from work (See All About You)  then you can start researching the careers / career areas that interest you. For every career that you’re interested in you need to find out the following:

* MAIN DUTIES – what does the job involve on a day-to-day basis

* HOURS – what are the hours of work?

* MONEY – What is the starting salary / earning potential?

* QUALIFICATIONS / EXPERIENCE – What are the entry requirements?

* ENTRY ROUTES – What are the different routes into this career?

*  LEARNING – What further qualifications could I take?

* JOB MARKET – What’s happening in this career sector at the moment?

* PROSPECTS – What are the employment trends and future prospects?

THINK CAREFULLY – While researching it’s really important to relate the information back to yourself to see how closely it matches you and what you want from work.

MAKE NOTES – make brief notes under the headings ‘LIKE’ and ‘DISLIKE’ as this helps you to see clearly how suited you are to this type of work.

CAREER PLANNING FOLDER   why not set up a careers folder – either paper or online – where you can keep information as your ideas evolve.

VIDEO WEBSITES  – watch video clips and case studies of people talking about their careers. This gives you an insight into what the job is really like, how you can improve your chances of getting into that work, the good and not-so-good parts etc. Three of these are listed below – 



CAREERPLAYER – (aimed at graduates but useful for anyone, especially if you plan on going to university in the future).

For other careers research websites see the Useful Websites section.



Next start finding out about the different routes into these careers. It’s important to consider all the possible options open to you at this stage.

To help you to plan the route you want to take it can be helpful to look at the career you’re interested in and then work backwards, for example:

–  For that career which degree do I need?

– For that degree which A levels / BTEC / NVQ course do I need?

– For those A levels / BTEC which GCSE subjects / grades will I need?

For more on your options go to the Future Options section.