Career research and job shadowing

Exploring your career options includes researching majors, occupations, industries, and employers; observing professionals in their workplace; and talking with people about their careers. Following are examples of websites, print material, videos, and other resources for exploring occupations.

Websites for occupational and industry research

Websites sponsored by U.S. Department of Labor

Professional associations

Many professional associations provide career information for current members and students who are interested in those professions. Several professional associations have students chapters here at Missouri State. Becoming actively involved in campus organizations not only enables you to learn more about occupations, but it also develops various skill sets, introduces you to new possibilities, and expands your network of contents.

Job search engines

Job search engines search the web specifically for job postings based upon your search criteria and compile or aggregate them into a list. Many people use job search engines for job searches, but the websites are useful for research occupations and employers also. To learn more, read "Difference Between a Job Board and a Job Search Engine" by Alison Doyle.




Informational Interviewing

Informational interviewing is an interview with a twist: instead of employers doing the interview, students or career explorers interview the employer. If you are exploring occupations, learn how informational interviews may benefit you. Find out how to prepare for informational interviews and what to do during and after the interview.

Job shadowing

Counselors connect students with alumni and community employers to explore occupational options and learn the realities of various careers. Students talk with professionals either through informational interviews in person or over the phone or go on-site to observe the work first hand. Student makes arrangements with the employer of choice regarding date and length of visit (1 to 2 hours, half a day, all day, etc.).

Job Shadowing is a popular experiential learning activity that enables students to gather information on careers before deciding on a course of study. Job Shadowing provides the following opportunities for students:

  • Obtain first-hand knowledge about occupations and workplace environments directly from professionals in those fields
  • Confirm your major or career path
  • Expand your network of professional contacts and possibly discover mentors
  • Link textbook information to the world of work