From accountants to
architects, the world of careers is vast and large.
With so many different careers to choose from many questions arise. How
do you choose, much less prepare for a career? To aid in your search for your
perfect career, we have divided careers into categories for your browsing ease.|
You might be
wondering, what can I do now to prepare for a career in a certain category. The
following will explain what training is needed in each career category.
the habits of a business person
If the corner office or a place in corporate America seem like the place for
you, there are a number of things you can do right now to improve your career
prospects. Most business occupations involve a great deal of information so you
should start early and be in the habit of reading business-oriented publications
such as The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Money, Forbes and Investor's
Daily. These are not only great places to become informed with the most up to
date occurrences in the business world, but they also contain many job openings
A great way to gather experience and entryway in the business world are
Internships. According to the Los
Angeles Times, roughly one in three college students make their start in the
employment world through summer internship programs. Internships provide
students with a low-risk way to test prospective careers. More importantly, they
give companies a low-risk way to test prospective employees. By participating in
an internship, you are able to add a few lines into a resume which might very
well be empty. If the company you intern for likes your work, your chances for
future employment there rise exponentially.
Another important, but by no means required, step to success in the
business management field is an advanced business degree or MBA. Many colleges
and universities offer graduate-level programs. These programs can offer vital
training in such areas of the business world as sales, marketing and accounting.
also provide an invaluable opportunity to build business contacts. Most business
schools require some degree of work experience, however. If receiving advance
business schooling is the path for you, your best bet is to aim for putting in
at least two years in the working world before returning for an MBA or advanced
the coming of technology, the category of administrative and clerical has
probably the dimmest future. Like blacksmiths displaced by the automobile nearly
a century ago, clerks, the general term applied to workers who sort and manage
information, have found their roles usurped by the very machine at which you are
occupations that adapted to this new technology (word processors, data entry
keyers) are expected to suffer a similar fate as increased automation and
near-universal computer access reduces the need for these specialized roles.7
you can do
Given this information, what can a prospective worker do? The key is
computer literacy for future success in nearly every occupation in this field.
If you don't have the time to take a computer class, make time, because your
chances for getting a job in this area with superior computer skills will be
your college education
Many local community colleges offer inexpensive night and weekend course,
some lasting less than a day. Any additional certification these classes can
give you bolster your resume, separating you from the usual pool of job
foot in the door
If there's one advantage to pursuing a career in this category, it's the
fact that most of the jobs exhibit high turnover rates. The occupations not in
outright decline will be in need of replacement workers, giving younger people
like you a better chance to get your foot in the door.
the words "Service with a smile" seem more like a death sentence than
an average day for you, you might want to skip this category. Do so at your own
U.S. Department of Labor predicts up to 9 million new service jobs by the year
2005, making service careers by far the largest sector of the U.S. economy.
jobs as a transition
Leading the list of occupations that will add the most new jobs over the next
decade is cashiers. America's service economy will need up to 600,000 new
cashiers between now and the year 2005. Waiters and Waitresses will also be in
demand, with 450,000 new jobs added over the same period.
colleges don't offer courses on waiting tables or counting change, but many
college graduates have used service jobs to launch successful careers. Since
service jobs tend to be more flexible than other jobs, students often use them
to supplement their income during school.
also use these jobs to smooth the transition between college and the
"real" world as they look for full-time work.
step toward management
Many service jobs also provide a valuable first step toward upper level
management positions. Service workers serve on the front line of any
corporation, and communications skills are not only invaluable, they are a must.
Many times, entry-level service positions may even be a pre-requisite to
you could find three words that described this category of jobs, they would be
easily found. Competition, competition, competition.
you are interested pursuing a career in film, TV, theater, literature or the
graphic arts, be warned. You are not alone, not by a long shot. The number of
people entering this career field has long outpaced the number of new job
openings. Add the fact that almost all entry-level jobs are low paying ($25,000
a year and down), and you quickly wonder why so many people would gravitate
toward this field in the first place.
few at the top
The answer lies at the top of the arts and entertainment success pyramid,
where top performers live in a rarefied world of lavish pay and, in some cases,
international prestige. For example, top Hollywood actors earn as much as $16
million per film role or much more, a startling figure that makes even a
decade's worth of crummy jobs suddenly seem very palatable. Similarly, TV
network anchors earn up to $2 million a year while at the same time influencing
public opinion. Who wouldn't want to be in that position?
course, not everyone aspires to the winner-take-all side of the arts and
entertainment business. For people with more humble aspirations, the
opportunities for long term success are still good, but the competition is still
What can you do to prepare yourself? The best answer is sitting right in
front of you. Computers have and will continue to revolutionize both the arts
and the media. Use this to your advantage. Build your computer skills during
college, so that you can sell them to prospective employers after graduation.
If you are interested in the dramatic arts, get an early start by taking
drama and speech classes in middle or high school.
Participate in school plays to gather more experience.
what the experts read
publications, or "Trades," are another asset worth exploiting.
Variety, Filmmaker, Broadcasting and Cable and a host of smaller publications
all provide key information on the personalities or 'players who dominate the
film and video industries. They also provide job ads you'd never find in regular
not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your
-- John F. Kennedy, 1961 Inaugural Address.
are familiar with this quote, but judging from recent career trends, the
sentiment is lost on most younger Americans -- until now, that is.
and uncertainty over the future have chased many away from this category of
careers over the last decade, but the U.S. Department of Labor lists many
occupations within this career cluster as some of the fastest growing over the
the list are teachers of all levels, human services or social workers and
counselors. At the heart of this employment boom is the continued growth and
aging of the U.S. population as well as the uncertainty mentioned above.
beyond the paycheck
Public service occupations differ from regular service jobs in that
public service workers provide a service to the community as a whole in addition
to the individuals they serve. Many public service workers cite this as the most
rewarding aspect of their work.
On the downside, however, many public service occupations come under the
aegis state and federal governments, meaning public service workers must be more
attuned to bureaucratic and political forces not felt by their private sector
counterparts. They must be able to meet certification and licensing requirements
and must be willing to submit periodic performance reviews.
out opportunities on campus
If you plan on pursuing a public service career, you couldn't pick a
better place to start than a four-year college. Every campus in the country has
student volunteer groups of some sort. These offer a wide range of
pre-professional service opportunities, ranging from tutoring to counseling to
feeding the homeless, to participating in a political campaign. All of these
experiences are especially valuable, since a strong display of volunteer work is
de rigeur for any successful public service career.
college can be an excellent launching pad, you should also note that most of the
public service careers listed below require additional education or training
beyond a four year college degree.
all the career clusters listed in this article, research and engineering
requires the most diligence during your undergraduate collegiate career.
for a research career
public service, volunteer work during your college career is an excellent way to
prepare yourself for a successful research career. More than any other
profession, research careers are built on reputation. Contacts are key, and
letters of recommendation are the coin of the realm.
system works both ways, of course. The value of your letter of recommendation
depends directly on the reputation of the person signing it. As a promising
research student, it is in your best interest to seek out the top labs and the
top researchers when looking for on-campus work.
for an engineering career
not as personality-focused as research, engineering offers its own opportunities
to build close interaction. If you are interested in a career in engineering,
your best bet is to take part in any programs that try to bridge the gap between
your college and the local industry, e.g. internships, mentor programs,
work-study jobs and volunteer work.
should be easy to do, since most businesses who hire engineers try to maintain
close ties with local colleges and universities.
often reap the rewards of hard work
majors often enjoy a rosy outlook after graduation. According to the National
Association of Colleges and Employers, engineering graduates averaged about
$34,000 a year, about $10,000 more than their liberal arts counterparts.
also benefit from the fact that most engineering jobs require only a four year
degree, plus successful completion of a certification test.
what are the downsides to being an engineer? Not much if you enjoy lots and lots
of math. Engineering job markets do fluctuate, however. Witness the recent
decline in aerospace engineering jobs due to recent defense spending cuts. Given
the specialization of engineering careers, crossing over from one field to
another isn't easy. Still, engineers typically lead the list when it comes to
polls on job satisfaction.
jobs may be heading overseas, but the need to operate and repair manufactured
equipment still remains safely here at home. Most of the jobs in this cluster
require some form of advanced education, but on-the-job experience can be even
more helpful, especially in occupations that are union-controlled.
the good news. Almost every job in this career cluster shows excellent growth
potential over the next decade. Unfortunately, most of these jobs are lower than
average pay, especially at the entry-level. They also require little or no
collegiate experience, meaning that if you do go to college, you'll probably be
devoting the time you could have spent working your way up the pay scale to
getting a college degree.
the job experience is the key prerequisite for a job in this career field.
Although some jobs might require certified vocational training and/or apprentice