WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?

Final Project

Search three different occupational interests and interview three persons one in each of the three fields of your choice. Write out the answers to the questions in the following Exploration Occupational Survey and e-mail your results to your instructor. Green River Community College, 12401 SE 320th, Robert D. Brehm. M.A., Auburn, Washington 98042


Part 1- A FACTUAL SURVEY OF THE OCCUPATION


The questions in this part of the project are intended to help you build the dependable and detailed picture of the occupation you must have before you can decide upon its suitability as a career choice for you.


Use this form not as a blueprint of rigid specifications but as a general guide to a comprehensive and orderly study of the occupation. Proper use of the form will encourage you to search out and interpret pertinent information which you might otherwise overlook. If any question appears to call for hard-to-get information which will have no bearing on your choice of a vocation, ignore it.


There is a recommended method for using this form to survey your occupation.
Study the form thoroughly and get a clear idea of the kinds of facts you will want to watch for in preparing your occupational survey. Lay your form aside and begin reading appropriate materials on you occupation. When you find any information which you feel is important, turn to the proper heading in the outline and jot it down. Then return to your reading. Avoid seeking answers to the questions in the precise order in which they appear. If you carefully apply the proposed method, you will have useful information on nearly every topic in the survey form by the time you finish studying. When blanks occur in your outline, it may mean that these
questions do not apply to the occupation you are studying. However, do not always take this for granted. Investigate many sources of information.


Do not settle for what a single source may say about any important question. You should have confirming and supplementary information from other sources. If you discover that authorities disagree on critical points, you may have to search further to find the facts. Your project is mainly one of fact-finding research.
To summarize, use Part 1 of the survey form as a means of guiding your reading and as an aid recording and arranging your notes. You will learn more if you then carefully study and edit these notes before preparing your survey in final form.


1. Title of Occupation

Use the standard job title found in the Yahoo search directory by typing in the words . Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Include the Dictionary of Occupational Titles code number. You may find in the Yahoo the Occupational Outlook Handbook by typing in those words. Both guides will provide you useful information.

2. Background of the Occupation

Include interesting facts about the history and development of the occupation and about its contribution and importance to the society.


3. Nature of the Work


Use the Dictionary of Occupational Titles or other appropriate references which objectively define the occupation. Give a factual and specific description of the occupation in terms of the tasks of the tasks performed. What does the worker do? As you continue to study the occupation through additional sources, modify and expand your description so that you develop an accurate and comprehensive account of the work performed.


4. Conditions of Work


Are hours irregular or regular? Long or short? Is there frequent overtime or night work? Is there Sunday and holiday work? Is employment steady, seasonal, or irregular? To what extent is the worker expected to travel as performing his duties? Is the working environment pleasant? Healthful? Are there unusual conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation? Is there much noise or dust? Are there occupational hazards, danger of burn, explosives, radiation, or toxic conditions? Does the worker perform under conditions of unusual speed, fatigue, or tension? ( Describe these conditions of work in detail)


5. Worker Relationships


With what kinds of people does the worker deal? Are the worker's services performed under circumstances which are generally conductive to pleasant human relations ( examples: airline hostess, hunting guide) or under circumstances which potentially involve human conflict, misunderstanding and emotional stress (examples: complaint manager, traffic policeman, bad debt collection agent)? Does the worker perform most of his duties alone or with others? ( Explain these relationships in detail.)


6. Worker Qualifications


a.) Age.

Is employment preference given to applicant within a certain range? Is there a legal or commonly accepted minimum age for entrance? Is there a commonly accepted age at which workers leave the field or retire?


b.) Sex.

Is this predominantly a male or female occupation? Is employment preference given to either sex? Is there evidence of differential treatment between men and women workers with respect to assigned duties, rate of pay, and opportunities for advancement?


c.) Physical qualifications.

To what extent are any of the following characteristics used as eligibility requirements in hiring workers for this field?
Visual efficiency Physical strength Color Vision Stamina
Hearing Height Weight General physical appearance
Freedom from disfigurements Freedom from specific ailments
Freedom from communicable diseases
Regardless of whether they are entrance requirements, which of the foregoing characteristics are considered especially important prerequisites to successful work in the occupation? ( Be careful to distinguish between what physical traits are desirable and what traits are indispensable for entering and succeeding in the occupation. Avoid generalizations about the importance "good health" since this is an asset in any kind of work.

d) Psychological qualifications.

What aptitudes, abilities, and skills are needed to perform this occupation? What personality traits and vocational interests are needed? Are psychological tests of these attributes commonly used to screen applicants for admission to training programs or for employment? Are such tests used in vocational guidance with persons who are considering this occupation as a possible career? Be precise in what you mean by the aptitudes and other traits to which you refer. Place more weight on published statements which are careful to give evidence of the importance of certain psychological qualifications, than on those statements which make unsubstantiated claims about them.


e) Work experience requirements.

It is sometimes difficult to secure employment for certain positions without previous experience in lower level occupations. Department head, sales manager, department store manager are illustrations of such positions. To what extent is previous work experience either required or preferred for entrance into this occupation? Describe this experience. How long does one usually work at this beginning job before qualifying for advancement?


f) Licensing and certification requirements.

Is a license or certificate required to perform the occupation? What qualifications must be met or what steps must be taken to obtain it? If an examination must be passed, what is its nature? If there are geographic differences in these requirements, list those in effect in the state or geographic region in which you would probably enter the occupation.


g) Equipment requirement.

What items does the worker use to perform his duties? These include tools, instruments, supplies, traveling equipment, uniforms, automobiles, trucks, and so forth. Must any of these items be supplied by the worker at his own expense, as a dentist must equip his office? What is the average total expenditure which the worker must make for these items?


h) Other qualifications.

Is citizenship a requirement? Must the worker be a resident of the town or state in which he seeks employment? Is preference given to veterans of military service? Is it customary for new workers to come from families already in this field or work? State any other requirements for entering and working in this occupation not covered elsewhere in this outline.

7. Education and Training


What schooling an special training are needed to qualify for employment? What college degrees are preferred or required? In what curricula? Which school subjects are emphasized? How long does this education take? What is its estimated cost? What are some recommended colleges? If this occupational field involves non-college training, what kind of training is it? Specifically, what does it include? How long does it take? What does it c cost? What training certificates are preferred or required? What are some accredited and recommended schools? Are there provisions for apprenticeship or other types of on-the-job training? Describe these training program, (Consider as many of the foregoing questions as apply to this occupation. Distinguish clearly between what training is desirable and what is indispensable.)


8. Entrance Procedures


How does one get his first job? By applying in person to employers? By taking a competitive examination? By joining a union? By registering with a public, private, professional, or school placement agency? If a combination of these employment procurement methods is customary, specify it.
In what kinds of industries, shops, and businesses is one most likely to find employment in this occupation? Does one sometimes enter this field by acquiring capital and opening his/her own business? How much capital is needed?


9. Unions
To what extent are workers in this occupation unionized? What is the largest labor union representing the workers? What are the requirements for entrance to the union?
Are there initiation fees? What are the annual dues? Does the union limit the number admitted to membership?


10. Discrimination


Is it the practice of training institutions, employers, and unions to exclude or limit applicants who are members of national, racial, or religious minorities? ( Note: Because some sources of information do not face this problem frankly, it is often difficult to obtain the facts. Be careful to distinguish between rumor and evidence. If you are unable to locate reliable information about discriminatory practice, say so.

11. Number and Geographic


Distribution of Workers
Approximately how many workers are employed in this occupation? Locally? In the state? In the United States? Are the workers evenly distributed over the United States in proportion to population or concentrated in certain areas? Where? Why? Can a person practice this occupation anywhere that he may wish to live? Do working conditions in small towns and rural areas differ materially from those in urban centers? How?


12. Employment Prospects:


Present and Future
To what extent are workers in demand today? Is there an oversupply or shortage of training workers? Are there regions where the demand for workers is above average? Is employment in this field expected either to increase or decrease in the near future? In the long run? Much or little? Why? Is technological change, such as automation, likely to alter the nature of this occupation and the demand for workers in the future? ( Be as specific and factual as possible. Avoid loose generalizations.)


13. Earnings


What are the most dependable figures you can find on the average weekly, monthly, or yearly earnings? Pay particular attention to information on the beginning wages and average wages of all workers in the occupation. Avoid misleading emphasis on the exceptional worker who is highly paid. Are earnings higher or lower in certain places of work or certain regions of the country? Are earnings generally received in the form of wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, tips, or some combination of these? Are there expense allowances for travel, use of car, and so forth? What fringe benefits are commonly found?


14. Advancements


How good are the chances for advancement? ( Be cautious about unsubstantiated claims.) Approximately what proportion of workers advance? To what positions is advancement customarily given? What changes in responsibility and earnings accompany advancement? After what period of time and after what additional preparation or experience is advancement possible? Is demonstrated ability or job seniority usually the more common basis for obtaining advancement?

15. Related Occupations


What are some occupations involving similar work and requiring similar types and amounts of training and skill? Consult especially the Dictionary of Occupational Titles or the names of occupations appearing in the same three digit occupational group. How are these occupations appearing in the same three digit occupational group? How are these occupations defined in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles? In what principal ways does each of these related occupations differ from the one you are surveying?


16. Sources of Further Information

List the names and addresses of business and organizations and the professional associations to which workers in this field belong and which furnish information about the occupation. ( Examples: American Institute of Accountants, American Registry of X-Ray Technicians.)


17. Bibliography


List here in standard bibliographical form only the published references which you actually used in building this report. ( Do not include any references which you inspected but from which you did not take information for this report.)
 

Part II- WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?

 


The purpose of this part of the project is to help you interpret your knowledge of the occupation in the light of how you now see yourself as a person. To put it more directly, Part II asks you to examine a series of fundamental questions that could help you judge whether the occupation you studied would be an appropriate career choice for you.
Think through the discussion questions on the following pages and answer them as fully, specifically, accurately, and frankly as you can. This may involve some repetition of facts and feelings you have already recorded in earlier project work. You will see that this repetition is necessary in order to help you select and to bring together the most important facts you need as a basis for deciding what your next step should be.

1. What are the major changes that have taken place in your conception of the occupation as a result of your survey? Do you now see the occupation in a different light? What are the most important new facts and understandings that you have acquired? What misconceptions about the occupation did you correct?


2. What things would you have to do in this occupation that you think you would enjoy doing? What information do you have about yourself which suggests you would like doing these things? ( Be specific.)


3. What things would you have to do in this occupation that you think you might not enjoy doing? What information do you have about yourself which suggests you would dislike doing these things? ( Be specific.)


4. Turn back to Part I in this form and carefully review specific qualifications and training which you found a worker sho9ul posses to enter this occupation. How do you feel now about your ability to meet each of the following requirement for this filed of work? ( Be specific.) Give all the facts necessary to support your conclusion.)
a. Physical requirements
b. Aptitude and skill requirements
c. Training requirements
d. Other requirements ( e.g. licensing, certification, examinations, age, sex, citizenship, union membership, investment capital, an so on.)


5. As one who is considering this occupation as a possible career choice, what is you reaction to the information you obtained about each of the following work factors? In each case state whether the facts you discovered make you want to consider the occupation more seriously or less seriously as your future vocation. (State your feelings frankly. Wherever necessary, review the pertinent information which you recorded in Part I of this form before you prepare your written reaction.)
a. Working conditions.
b. Type of people you work with.
c. Job security and future of the field.
d. Earnings
e. Other factors ( Prestige of the occupation, union status, discrimination, geographic location, and so on.)
Summary and Tentative Decision
Before attempting to answer this question, carefully review your responses to all of the questions on the preceding pages of Part II.
6. If you had to decide today whether or not to enter this occupation, what would decide? Why? ( Tell the whole story.)




Part III - JOB INFORMATION INTERVIEW


1. Title of occupation

If possible, use the standard job title as found in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Include the Dictionary code number. If you discussed a series of related jobs during your interview, list them separately or give the name of the general job family in which they are included.


2. Date of the interview


3. Full name of person interviewed, position of title held, and firm of institution with which associated.


4. Principal topics covered.


Enumerate briefly all important questions and subjects dealt with during the interview. Be as specific as you can in identifying each topic. List as many significant topics which came up for discussion as you are able to recall.


5. Summary of interview findings.


Referring to the topics listed in question 4, report here in some detail the main things you were told about the occupation. What specific occupational information did you obtain from the interview? (Don't be too brief.)


6. Interview evaluation


Consider such questions as the following: How worthwhile did I find the interview? To what extent did it contribute significantly to your understanding of the occupation? Was the person you interviewed well informed? Up to date? Biased in his/her view of the occupation? Did you find certain of his/her statements and opinions inconsistent with the data you obtained from your other sources of information about the occupation? How fully were your major questions answered? Were there some specific topics you wish had been covered more adequately? Can you see ways in which the interview could have been made more fruitful?
 

E-mail: rbrehm@msn.com
Copyright 1998  [Robert Brehm]. All rights reserved.