Today’s students and career-changers have access to more career planning information than ever before. Researching careers, taking career assessments, and even career counseling can be done online. With all of the information on the Internet and the thousands of career options available, choosing a career can be overwhelming. For reliable career planning tools and resources, consider the following sites:
About.com Career Planning
About.com’s career planning guide includes career profiles, quizzes, and many other resources to help you choose a career. Read a step by step guide to choosing a career or take one of the career quizzes to see if a career is right for you.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
An important consideration when choosing a career is projected growth. The OOH at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website offers information about job growth rates, salaries, employment by industry, and education requirements. It’s an essential reference for any student or career-changer.
No, MyPlan isn’t paying me to promote their site. It’s just so useful that I have to recommend it again. There are four different career assessments on MyPlan.com: interests, personality, values, and skills. The values assessment is free, and I’ve found it to be very accurate. If you take all four tests, you can view your composite career rankings. MyPlan also has career satisfaction ratings, salary data, and tons of other useful information.
The career key personality and career test is based on Holland’s theory and costs $9.95. Careerkey.org also has information about changing careers, job satisfaction, choosing a major and identifying your skills.
The Career Project
If you’re looking for honest information about careers, I recommend thecareerproject.org. You’ll find thousands of career profiles from people that actually work in those professions. Workers report information about income, benefits, work environment, and job satisfaction. You can also view a day in the life, where users detail their workdays hour-by-hour.
CareerPlanner.com has everything you need for career planning: profiles, counseling, and assessments. The site has a page for students and a page for career changers. The counseling and testing package (“Jumpstart Session”) is expensive ($275), but you can take a personality test and get career recommendations for $12.00 or an advanced report for $35.00. You can also purchase a personality type coaching session or 15 minute followup career coaching session for $75 each.
The career exploration section at QuintCareers offers hundreds of career planning articles, links, and tools. Resources include industry magazines, checklists, and directories. The site also has college planning, financial aid, and job search resources. No matter what your career stage, QuintCareers is a must-visit website.
National Career Development Association
Career counseling can help you decide on a career path based on a variety of factors. If your high school or college doesn’t have a career counselor, or if you’re considering a career change, you may need to look for an independent career counselor. Read the guidelines for choosing a career counselor, including your rights as a consumer and responsibilities as a client. You can also search for a career counselor near you in the National Career Development Association counselor database.
Career One Stop
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, careeronestop.org offers salary data, employment trends, and self-assessments. You can download the work importance locator, which identifies features that are important in a job. Skills, abilities, and interests assessments are also available.
Mapping Your Future
Whether you’re just starting out on your career planning journey or making a career change, you’ll be sure to find the information you need at mappingyourfuture.org. The site offers career exploration and college planning resources, in addition to entrance and exit loan counseling.
There are plenty of other excellent career planning sites on the Internet, but I chose these sites based on information accessibility and authority. This is not a comprehensive list, and is only based on my opinion and experiences. This list can help start your career planning process, but you should also look for other resources that suit your specific situation and preferences.