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Thousands of websites offer career information; usnews.com career coach Marty Nemko recommends these:
The Best Comprehensive Sites
OneStop Coach: onestopcoach.org. This is a portal to federally funded career websites offering quality help at every stage: identify your skills, find careers that fit, get trained, find money for training, and land the job. Plus, if you need human help, OneStop Coach links you to your local bricks-and-mortar federal OneStop Career Center. Many California high school and college career centers subscribe to Eureka.org, a similar but more user-friendly, California-centric site.
The Riley Guide: Rileyguide.com/prepare.html This is the best portal for those trying to choose a career.
Job Hunt: job-hunt.org. This is the best portal for those who have a career goal and now are trying to land a job.
Best Sites for Specific Purposes
The above comprehensive sites, which link to many sites, can be overwhelming, so here are my favorite individual ones:
WHICH CAREERS FIT YOU?
University of CaliforniaBerkeley Career Site: www.uhs.berkeley.edu. Extensive, well-organized information on hundreds of careers. Not surprising for a university site, the focus is on careers requiring a degree.
Vocational Information Center: www.khake.com. This site focuses on careers not requiring a college degree and usually provides links to training resources.
mylifecoach.com: This site offers an online version of the Strong Interest Inventory, the most carefully validated of all career "tests." This half-hour assessment yields a synthesis of your interests and an annotated list of well-suited careers. While other sites offer the Strong, mylifecoach.com is my favorite because for just $24.95, you receive a comprehensive report plus a by-phone 20-minute consultation to interpret the results. That fee also includes free access to Focus, which enables you to link your Strong results to information on well-suited careers.
Career Compass: www.careervoyages.org. This takes just one minute but can be quite helpful. You simply pick your first, second, and third choice among six interest areas (hands-on, investigative, artistic, social, entrepreneurial, and business detail) and up pops a list of matching careers. Click on a selection, and you're teleported to a detailed profile of that career.
TO RESEARCH A FIELD OR EMPLOYER
Google.com: Although not a career site, my clients and I most often end up using Google for all aspects of career research. When I want to find information on a career, I Google it. When I want to find a person, for example, a VP of marketing at Hewlett-Packard, I Google it. When I want to find the name of a professional association, I Google the name of the profession along with the word "association," "organization," "society," "American," or "National." When I want information on a particular employer, I Google its Web tab and also its Groups and News tabs, the latter two which are more likely to unearth dirt.
A client of mine was unsure which of two job offers to accept. To help decide, he Googled one of his potential bosses, Doug Dahlin. He discovered that Dahlin is a legend in his field, beloved by all, and was recently inducted into his industry's hall of fame. My client's choice became clear.