Module 02: Research and Exploration

2.1 Introduction and Learning Outcomes

This module may be helpful if you:

  • Want to learn more about the career paths you are considering (this is most of us!)
  • You are trying to decide between several career options
  • Feel unsure about your goals and the steps needed to achieve them


In this module, you will learn strategies for researching occupations that you are curious about and that interest you most. Career research may help you understand the day-to-day realities of a particular occupation, get a sense of the trends in a particular field, understand if the career path is a good fit for you, and finally, allow you to be effective in your job search.  Although it’s often overlooked or skipped entirely, conducting career research is an essential component of your career journey.

What is career research?

Career research isn’t just about discovering possible career paths you might want to pursue. The process also encompasses learning about  job prospects, salary ranges,  typical day-to-day responsibilities, and any necessary required qualifications . By conducting career research, you’ll get a better sense about whether a particular occupation is a good fit for you, set more realistic career goals, build a network of people you can learn from, and utilize a focused and strategic job search. Some information can be found online and other information you can only acquire by actively connecting with others. We will discuss both of those approaches within this module.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Conduct career research and exploration
  2. Identify various types of information and strategies to gather applicable data
  3. Use and analyze the Decision-Making Matrix to discern career fit and preference
  4. Set career goals relevant to you by using the SMART method
  5. Write a set of action steps for your own personal career development

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