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After determing what careers match your personality, interest and skills, you will want to determine that the specific occupation provides those things that you feel are important to have in your vocational life. For example:

  1. What is your minimum acceptable salary?
  2. Are you comfortable with the work environment for this type of career?
  3. What are the education and training requirements? Are you willing to commit to these?
  4. Does this career field require travel? Is that acceptable?
  5. What is the employment outlook/demand and job security in this field?

For more questions to consider in the career exploration stage, visit Clarify Your Career Values.  When you have completed your list of requirements, review each job description.  Will the job satisfy your requirements?  If the answer is yes, research the career in more detail and meet with a Counselor to select a degree plan (including an academic and transfer plan where appropriate.  Then move to STEP III:  Employment Preparation.   If the answer is no, research similar or alternative careers and ask the questions again.  If you are unable to make a decision after your research, you should make an appointment with a Career Counselor at your campus to discuss these and other issues.

To begin your research, visit the listed websites. 

  • America's Career Information Network   - At Career One Stop, you can take self-assessments, explore careers, search for jobs, obtain state labor market information and learn about resumes, correspondence and interviews.
  • Career Choices in North Carolina   - This publication is designed to provide career development and occupational information for the State of North Carolina. The information related to self assessments, career planning and job search strategies are relevant to any person planning for a career.
  • - Get the facts about education requirements, average earnings (national, statewide, and regional), job requirements, and employment projections for careers.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook - (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) The OOH tells you the training and education needed, earnings, job prospects, what workers do on the job and the working conditions for hundreds of different types of jobs.
  • O*Net Online - The O*NET system serves as the nation's primary source of occupational information, providing comprehensive information on key attributes and characteristics of workers and occupations. The O*NET database houses this data and O*NET OnLine provides easy access to that information.
  • Salary Information  - provides salary information based on job title and region.
  • TCC LRC Careers Subject Guide - The Learning Resource Center (LRC) at TCC provides access to print and online materials for use in the Career Development Process.
  • TCC Program & Degrees ~ Alphabetical Index   - This section contains detailed information about TCC's Career and Technical Programs and Transfer Programs and the career opportunities associated with these programs.
  • VAView - Virginia's Career Resource - For students, parents, counselors, adult learners, individuals with disabilities, and job seekers. Search over 600 occupations for descriptions, working conditions, requirements, earnings, and projections for city locations
  • WetFeet - Learn about trends, markets, major players, and jobs in leading industries.


  • Healthcare careers  - Sentara provides detailed information about career paths in health professions.
  • Virginia Health Careers Manual   - This site contains detailed information about health careers in Virginia. Each of the career listings describes a health profession and its work activities, work setting, salary information and educational requirements. Each listing also includes Virginia’s health professions schools and training programs and relevant professional associations.



After you have completed the career exploration stage, it is important to select a career or careers that you wish to pursue, meet with a Counselor to develop your Academic Plan and begin Step III - Employment Preparation.


CAREER ACTION PLAN - step by step instructions in the career development process

STEP I:  SELF ASSESSMENT - learn more about your values, personality, interests and skills

STEP III:  EMPLOYMENT PREPARATION - develop your marketing skills and materials

STEP IV:  JOB SEARCHING  - begin the job search process


For assistance with any step in the career development process, please visit a counselor in the Career and Transfer Resource Centers.