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Career Research

This guide will help you start researching careers.

Finding Books - Finding Articles - Searching the Internet - Evaluation of Sources - Career Library - Citing Your Sources

Finding Books

The library has many books on a variety of careers. To find them, search the library's online catalog. When searching the library catalog for career research, you may need to try many different searches. For example, if you were looking for career information on being an accountant, you may want to try:


  • accountant
  • accounting career
  • business career
In the example above, you can see that different terms were tried and the topic was broadened. Some general rules of thumb:
  • Adding words will give you fewer search results. The more words you have, the less results you get.
  • The search returns on exact words or parts of words. Searching for accountant will give you a different result than accounting. Using career instead of careers will get you the books with both career and careers in the title. 
  • The online catalog does not search the full text of the book. Generally, it looks at the title, author, subject, and (sometimes) the table of contents of the book. That means that you will get the most results by keeping your search broad.
The online catalog will give you results for ebooks, physical books and online videos. You can filter the results as needed by using the links on the right-hand side of the page.

Some suggested books in the library that you may want to consult:
  • What Color is Your Parachute?HF5382.7 .B64
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook - REF HF5381 .U62
  • Careers in... series - various call numbers (Hint: do a Title (Starts With) search to find these quickly)   
  • 50 Best College Majors for a Secure Future - L901 .S553 2010
  • Now What?: The Young Person's Guide to Choosing the Perfect Career - HF 5381 .L662
  • 10 Best College Majors for Your Personality (ebook)
  • College Majors and Careers​ (ebook)


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Finding Articles

The OCC Library has many databases that contain a wide variety of magazine, journal, and newspaper articles, as well as ebooks, videos and more. It's important to select the correct database. A librarian can assist you with this task. This is a list of the resources that generally contain the most career information. You can find all of the databases that are available on the library's Periodicals and Electronic Resources page. If you are off campus, you will need to log on with your student ID (formatted 1234-5678) and last name.

  • Academic OneFile - Database of magazine and journal articles, most of which are available in full-text. Covers most topics.
  • Academic Search Premier - Similar to Academic Onefile, but with different content. Database of magazine and journal articles, most of which are available in full-text. 
  • LexisNexis Academic - Lexis-Nexis Academic is a premier online source of local, national, and international news, business, legal, medical, and government information, full-text and mostly from 1985 to the present.
If you are looking at a specific career, you may wish to search the database that most closely relates to the career. For instance, if you are looking for an accounting job, you would most likely wish to search the Business Source Elite database. The databases on the Periodicals and Electronic Resources website are sorted by subject to help you figure out which one to search.


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Searching the Internet for Websites

There are many great career websites on the Internet. However, you need to make sure the information on them is accurate and timely. It is good practice to double check any information you pull off the web against one or more additional sources. Also, pay attention to who is writing the website, when it was published, if there is a bias, and how advertising on the site might affect the information given. 

Some suggested career websites:
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
    From the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from the United States Department of Labor, this site provides extensive career information including a database of occupations, median pay, education requirements and projected number of new jobs. Also available in book form in the library.
  • California Occupational Guides
    This site is maintained by the State of California and contains similar information as the Occupational Outlook Handbook. However, these guides are specifically for the state of California, making them more useful if you plan to stay in the state. Some information will be much different if viewed on a national level, instead of a state level, like salaries and job outlook.
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics​
    This federal goverment site has statistics covering many aspects of the labor market in the US. Of particular interest may be the Data Tools section of the site. 
  • Glassdoor​
    Glassdoor provides employee reviews, salaries, and interview questions on over 325,000 companies as well as access to millions of job and internship postings. The information on this site is crowdsourced - in other words, it's written by employees that work for the company that you are researching.
  • Career InfoNet​
    Career InfoNet is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. This site contains occupational profiles, career exploration tools and a job search.
  • O*Net Online
    O*Net is very similiar to Career InfoNet but has a more streamlined look and feel. 
  • California Career Zone
    This site was funded by a grant from the California Department of Education. It focuses on career exploration and planning, especially for students.
  • Salary Surfer​
    Created by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, Salary Surfer has data on earnings of recent college graduates who completed a specific program at a California community college. It also tells you what colleges offer those programs. It doesn't include information on students who transferred to a four-year college.


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Evaluation of Sources

It's important to evaluate the information that you use for your research verify its accuracy. You can visit the website below or watch the video to find out more.

Evaluating Web Sites
A quick and useful guide to help you evaluate the Web pages you find for purpose, authority, objectivity, relevance, currency, and responsibility.

​​​Video Tutorial - This video contains several smaller videos. If the next video doesn't play automatically, click the icon in the top right corner of the player.



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Career Library

Visit the OCC Career Resource Center located in Watson Hall, 3rd floor for additional resources or call the center at 714-432-5619 for more information. 

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Citing Your Sources

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(lc 2/2015)​​