Career Information Research Guide

This research guide provides a list of resources and strategies that may prove helpful when you need to do research about careers and occupations. The resources covered in this guide include some that are available through the Cypress College Library, and others that are available on the open web. This is only a starting point; for more detailed information come to the library and ask for a consultation at the Reference Desk.

Your research strategy might include some or all of the following:

  • Use reference sources to find an overview of your topic, or to find general background information on your topic
  • Use the library’s online catalog to find books on your topic
  • Use the library’s licensed databases to find journal, magazine, newspaper, and other types of articles on your topic
  • Use the Internet to find credible web sources on your topic

How do I find an overview or general background information about my topic?

Reference sources are a great place to start your research. You can use reference sources to find a broad range of information such as skills and educational requirements, employment outlook, wage and salary trends, benefits, advancement potential, job- finding strategies and more. Listed below are a few of the reference sources available through the Cypress College Library:

Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance Reference Collection (HF5381 .E52, v. 1-5)

Occupational Outlook Handbook
Reference Collection (HF5382 .O22)

College Majors and Careers: A Resource Guide for Effective Life Planning
Reference Collection (HF5382.5 .U5 P445)

O*NET Dictionary of Occupational Titles
Reference Collection (HB2592 .O16)

How do I find books about my topic?

Use Cypress College Library’s Online Catalog to look for books on your topic. A good strategy is to do a “Subject” search. Type the name of the career you’re interested in and follow it by the subject keyword “Vocational guidance,” then set the search to “Subject” and click “Search.” For example:

  • Teaching Vocational guidance
  • Law Enforcement Vocational guidance
  • Nursing Vocational guidance

How do I find journal, magazine, newspaper, and other types of articles on my topic?

You can use subscription databases to find full-text articles from journals, magazines and newspapers. For example, try using EBSCOhost. Once the interface has opened, click “Continue,” type your search terms in the text box and click “search.”

How do I find credible web sources on my topic?

In this section, “web pages” means the “open web”—websites anyone can access—not web-based research tools like the databases that the library provides. The open web has a lot of great things to offer, but not all the sources found there are appropriate for academic research. How can you determine if the sources you’ve found are credible? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who created the site?
  • Can you determine if the author is an expert in the field?
  • What kind of an audience was the site created for? General adult population? Scientists? 3rd graders?
  • Can you determine if there is any kind of bias expressed in the site? Is the site trying to sell you a particular point of view?
  • When was the web page last revised?
  • What is the date range of the materials covered in the site?
  • What other resources (print & non-print) are available in this area?
  • What is the relative value of the web site in comparison to the range of information resources available on this topic?

You can try looking for relevant web sites on your own using subject directories like ipl2, and the Open Directory Project. As well, you can try some of the web sites listed below:
Search for jobs by industry, company, type, and location.

Explore careers, salary & benefits, education & training, get resume advice & samples, browse job sites and plan your search.
Career planning, resume, employer profiles, and employment search to find a job with a diversity sensitive employer.

Mapping Your Future
Find out how to choose a career and how to reach your career goal. You can also pick up useful tips on job hunting, resume writing, and job interviewing techniques.

Occupational Outlook Handbook
“A nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives.”

The Riley Guide: Employment Opportunities and Job Resources on the Internet
Includes how to search for jobs, where to search, resumes & cover letters, interviews & negotiations, salary guides and more.  

Is there anywhere I can go on campus to find help with choosing a career?

Career Planning Center provides career and re-entry counseling, resume and interview assistance, computerized career information and much more. The Career Planning Center is located on the Cypress College campus, on the 2nd floor of the Student Center. For more information, contact the Center at (714) 484-7120.

How do I get more help finding sources for my topic?

If you feel like you need help getting started, finding more detailed materials, or if you have any questions in general, please feel free to come to the library and ask a reference librarian for help.

If you have trouble accessing this page and need help, contact a librarian at the reference desk at (714) 484-7069.