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Choosing a career: activity


This activity is designed to encourage you to begin thinking about your future. You will research careers from among the more than 300 occupations listed in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH).


After completing this activity, you will have a better understanding of the pay, job outlook, types of skills needed, and much more for various careers. Additionally, you will become more familiar with the Occupational Outlook Handbook so that you may use it as a career resource in the future.


You may select one or more occupations and prepare a report and/or presentation addressing the following questions:

  • How does the occupation fit your skills and interests?
  • OOH
  • What will you be doing in the occupation?
  • What is the necessary education and/or training?
  • How many jobs are there in the occupation currently?
  • Is the occupation projected to grow, decline, or remain unchanged? Why?
  • How much does this occupation pay? What do the top 10 percent earn? The bottom 10 percent?
  • Find someone with a job in the occupation you are interested in, and interview him or her. You should find out:
    • what kind of work the person does
    • what the person likes and dislikes about the job
    • what advice the person would give to someone interested in a career in this field.

Prepare a report using the information collected above to assess whether you would pursue a career in the selected occupation.

Additional resources

You can use the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator to find out almost anything you want to know about the nation's colleges—all in one place. You can search for institutions by using broad criteria such as school name, geographic location, and programs and majors.

The Department of Labor’s Career One Stop webpage is an excellent source of career information and includes career assessment tools to help jobseekers identify jobs that match their skills and interests.

Career Outlook articles on the BLS website provide data and information on a variety of topics including occupations and industries, pay and benefits, and more. These articles are helpful for students, career counselors, jobseekers, and others planning careers.

The Education Pays chart helps you to understand the value of an education.