Importance of Job Market Research in Planning a Successful Career

It is extremely useful to do career research in advance of graduating from college so that you will be able to align yourself early for the job market. By conducting job market research you are able to identify the positions that are available within your field. A wise student should start his or her career research early so that by the time they are about to complete their education, he/she will have identified the best options and have mastered the required skills enabling him/her to pursue the best jobs. Many jobs are available for college graduates. Graduates must get creative and look outside the jobs posted within their college major field. Many graduates find jobs within fields that they did not major in. These graduates are well-rounded and only gain more experience than those without a job at all. Here are tips on how to conduct a successful career research:

Generate options

When you are starting to do your job market research, explore a number of ways on how to get useful job market information. Some methods to find information on the job search are:

  1. Departmental statistics: Departmental Statistics help you to determine the career paths that graduates ahead of you have taken. These statistics will give you a rough idea on how wide or how small the career in which you are studying is. This information can be best given by your career services department or department chairs because they know past students and have stayed in touch with many graduates and follow the careers they took after graduation.
  2. Career workshops: In some institutions, there are professionally prepared career workshops presented by top employers in your local area determined to help you young graduates start careers from an informed perspective of the employer.
  3. Scholarly association: These associations main work is to help students know about alternative careers within a specific field. This information is also available on the association’s website.

Once you have been able to gather enough information from the following sources try as much as possible to identify with each option and see how it will be if you ever tried to work from the already identified career.

Gather enough information at each option

Identify work related basics of the selected career such as educational requirements, location of the available position, and the amount of salary paid for each post. More information of the occupation can be obtained from websites or by interviewing people already within that occupation. The main aim of the information you are gathering is trying to see whether you will be able to fulfill the requirements and have the knowledge to excel at the career. It is important to do job market research on salaries of average college graduates within the specific job you are searching for. Money is not everything, but when you have student loans coming in along with trying to live on your own and provide for yourself, it is an important factor to make sure you are being paid what you deserve. On the other hand there are some jobs that are only available in a certain regions and you must determine if you really want to move to that location or not. Doing good career research will ensure that you are familiar with all the requirements of the occupation in advance before you take up the position and get blindsided.

Determine the skills needed for the job

Every job requires a specific skill set. For example, if you aspire to be a web developer, do you have the required skills to do the work competently such mastering program languages and software development tools? If you can answer questions such as this one positively, you will better equip yourself with the right skills before you go for an interview. You will be prepared to state confidently that you have mastered the required skills necessary for that job. In today’s world, career qualifications change constantly for the same job so it is important to ask about the requirements the most recently employed people had to fulfill. Whenever you are applying to a position in a field that is constantly evolving, it is important to make sure you stay up to date with the latest technology and skill sets.

Once the list of options has been done narrow it down

After you have collected information on different job postings, go through the list and narrow down the options to positions that you can honestly see yourself doing. Use key criteria like income, job security, your qualifications, interests, and the location of the posting in question to narrow your list down.

Make your decision

After a successful career research, you should be able to make your decision on which jobs to apply to. Apply to the jobs that you feel most qualified and even those that you may only feel somewhat qualified for. You never know who might take a chance on you and give you the opportunity to see what you can do. It is better to have your resume out there and know employers you are interested and believe you can handle that job. They may not select you for the specific job you applied for, but they may find another position within the company for you. Others may keep your resume on file and think of you for a future position within the company. Hopefully these helpful hints allow you to obtain that job!

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