Students in Professor Ashley Supinski's ENGL 151R class can use this page for help finding sources for your Career Path Recommendation Report. Learn about library and internet resources available to help you with this project as well as general search strategies to help you search these resources. You may need to use a few different sources to get information about the job responsibilities, personality traits, experience, skills, and local employment opportunities for each of the careers you are reporting on.
Choosing Search Keywords
After you've chosen the careers you want to research, you should take some time to think about what search words will get you to information about those careers.
Most search tools default to a keyword search (even Google!). This type of search looks for your search words exactly as you typed them. If your word appears anywhere in an item or website's title, summary, publication information, and sometimes even the text, that item or website will show in your results.
Because of this, you'll want to be direct, precise, and specific with your search keywords. Sources may use different language to discuss the information you are trying to find. Brainstorm a list of possibilities. Include synonyms and related terms.
For example, if you are looking for the job responsibilities of a food taster, a list of starting keywords might look like this:
|tasks||regular||food science technician|
|functions||job||quality assurance manager|
Learn from the information you are finding, pick up new or different search keywords, and make adjustments in your next search.
Combining Search Keywords
You can combine search keywords in a few ways to help make your search more precise.
Connecting search keywords using AND, OR, and NOT (known as Boolean operators) allows you to work with multiple keywords in one search.
Most search tools automatically add "and" in-between your search words, though you may not always see it in your search. If you have a phrase that you want to search for in its entirety, group the words in the phrase together using quotation marks so that the search tool will search for them as one idea instead of separately. Example: "food technologist"
If you aren't finding information, your search terms might be too specific. In some resources, you may need to take a step back and search a bigger idea.
If using "food technologist" isn't giving me a lot of information, I could try words that describe the industry or work environment instead, like "food manufacturing" or "food product development." For librarian, using libraries may include information about the daily tasks and work conditions librarians experience. For nurse, nursing or specific settings where nurses work (hospitals, urgent cares, doctor's offices) may provide additional information.
You may be prompted to log in to these resources when you're off-campus. Just use your MyNCC login (student id number and password) to do so.
Use SpartaCat to search for eBooks in the library's collections about the careers you are interested in. Choose Electronic Book from the Type drown down menu when you do your search. For step by step instructions, see the Finding eBooks page of this research guide, or watch the SpartaCat eBooks video tutorial.
The Films on Demand streaming video library has multiple career and job-focused videos, including Q & A interviews with people currently working in the field.
Salem Careers is a special collection of searchable eBooks from Salem Press focusing on many popular careers. You can browse their entire selection of career books before choosing one to review or search within. You can also search the entire Salem collection of eBooks.
EBSCO Discovery Service searches most of the library's databases and the library catalog at once. If you aren't finding enough information elsewhere, you can try searching this. You're likely to get a lot of results - so be sure to pick your search keywords carefully. Apply search filters and options (especially full-text) to help make your results manageable. See the EBSCO Discovery Service tutorial for a brief search demonstration.
Many of the websites below include subsections that focus on related career and occupation information beyond the basic factual profile or overview. Take some time to explore them beyond your immediate search needs. You may discover useful information through browsing as well as through direct searches.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook provides information about typical job responsibilities, working conditions, training and education requirements, and expected job prospects over time for different careers and occupations.
Career Outlook includes articles, day in the life profiles, Q & A interviews, and data about many careers and occupations. It's designed to be used as a companion to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Career One Stop provides information for many different types of job searchers and stages of the process. The Explore Careers tab will be the most useful for this project - it includes personality, values, and skills assessments and also profiles of occupations.
The Princeton Review's Career Search provides day in the life overviews for a variety of careers and occupations. These overviews include information about typical and daily work responsibilities, training, experience, skills requirements, and long term outlooks.
Careers.org provides in-depth occupation profiles for thousands of careers. Profiles contain specific information about the nature of work; average earnings; underlying training and education; related occupations; and corresponding academic programs. Look under the Job Resources tab for the Occupation Profiles section.
O*Net sponsors both the above websites that include useful career and occupation information. O*Net Online lets you explore careers and occupations and also has an advanced search allowing you to see careers connected to a skill, technology, tool, or software. My Next Move provides personality and skills assessments to help match you to a career.
You can also check to see if your career has an international, national, state, or regional professional association to support those working in the field. Often these websites include job postings and information about the profession and working conditions. Use Career One Stop's professional association finder to help you identify associations by name, industry, or occupation.
NCC Career Services also has valuable tools for you as you conduct your research, especially for finding the personality traits and local employment opportunities for your career.
Visit Career Services full website for more information, resources, and help using the above resources.
Not everything found on the Internet is reliable or credible.
Think critically about the information on websites and be sure to consider the criteria here to determine if the information is trustworthy and appropriate to use in academic research:
Authority - the source (author or publisher) and their expertise.
Accuracy - the reliability and correctness of the information.
Objectivity - viewpoint or bias.
Currency - timeliness of the information
Coverage - level of detail or scope.
Relevance - importance or quality.