University at Albany

Explore careers

When think about choosing a career, you should not only think about what you like to do but also where you want to do it.

There are a variety of different ways you can explore careers.  You can look based on what things you like to do.  You can also explore careers within a certain industry that appeals to you.  Looking at a group of related careers can help you to expand your list of potential careers. If you are not sure what might interest you, make an appointment and meet with a counselor to discuss taking a career assessment test. 

The following information is taken from the Occupational Information Network. (O*NET).  This site is maintained by the Department of Labor and had detailed information about various careers.

Things you like to do – Job activities can be categorized into 6 different groups.  Read through each group and see which ones sound the most interesting.  Each link will take you to a list of careers that fall in that group.  Each page allows you to add more groups to narrow down the list.

  • Realistic – These occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • InvestigativeThese occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • ArtisticThese occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

If you aren’t sure which category to choose, make an appointment with a career counselor for help.

IndustriesThis site lists careers in 21 different industries.  Many careers, such as sales and marketing, span different industries.  Choosing to focus on an industry that interests you can make it easier to focus your job search efforts.  Through activities, volunteer work, and internships, you can develop industry specific experience that will help you get that first job.

Related careers – Careers can be grouped into related careers.  Exploring careers in a group may give you some new ideas of careers that you hadn’t heard of or considered before.