Career Research Project

Required Components:

Title Page

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Introduction Paragraph, then:

Section I: (20 points; suggested page length is 1 – 2 pages) Information about a specific career in which you are interested. You should include information such as: the nature of the work, the environment, the education, skills, training and personality traits required to be successful, average salaries, the labor market outlook, related position, typical employers, etc. Sources to use include: books, periodicals, newspapers, professional journals, and websites. Suggested questions to answer include but are not limited to:

■ What special skills, talents, or personality traits are necessary for this occupation?

■ Where could you gain experience?

■ In what ways are you suited for this career?

■ What personality characteristics or skills do you currently possess that you believe will benefit you in this career?

Section II: (20 points; suggested page length is 1 – 2 pages) Information about a specific employer who would hire someone with your chosen career interests. For example, if you want to be a nurse, this section could be about Atrium Health. If you want to be a restaurant manager, this section could be about Chili’s or Chick-fil-A. If you want to be a journalist, this section could be about The Charlotte Observer.

You should approach this part of the assignment as though you were preparing for a real job interview. Topics covered should include the size of the organization, its history, the organizational structure, its culture and/or mission, branches or subsidiaries, clients or customers, products or services, opportunities for promotion, etc. Most medium to large size organizations have this information on their website. However, you are encouraged to research information from other resources other than the organization itself (example: Hoovers, Uniworld). Other suggested questions to answer include but are not limited to:

■ What is the prospect for employment in this occupation/with this employer?

■ What factors influence the availability of jobs in this field/with this employer?

■ What is the growth potential for this job/with this employer?

■ What health benefits are available to employees?

■ What health and safety issues are involved in this occupation?

■ What other benefits might this occupation include: vacation time, retirement plan, perks?

Section III: (20 points; suggested page length is 1 – 2 pages) A description of the typical career path one follows as he/she advances in this career. What is an entry-level position? What are other names of entry-level positions? Is there more than one path one could take? What are the middle and upper-level positions? Suggested questions to answer include but are not limited to:

■ What is the minimum education required for this job? Maximum?

■ How many years of study are involved? At what cost?

■ Where would you obtain this education? (On-the-job training, junior college, technical school, college, or university?)

■ What are the entrance requirements for these training schools? How many years? Post graduate?

■ What is the standard beginning wage for this job? In this area? Elsewhere?

■ What is the maximum salary you can expect? Here? Elsewhere?

■ What factors affect the salary range?

■ What expenses are involved in setting yourself up in this profession?

■ How can the “startup” costs be financed, underwritten, or deferred?

Section IV: (20 points; suggested page length is 1 – 2 pages) In order to complete this project, you must conduct an informational interview with a person who works in your field of interest.. The interview may be conducted in person, by phone, by email, etc.

The employer interview is Section IV of the Career Research Project: (20 points of 100 points; suggested page length is 1 – 2 pages). Students must incorporate the questions and answers into paragraphs using summary and direct and in-direct quotes. This section should be cited as an APA personal communication like this (J. Billings, personal communication, March 22, 2019).

Directions for Section: In order to complete this project, you must conduct an informational interview with a person who works in your field of interest. Ideally, it will be an employee with the researched employer but does not have to be. Please do not choose to interview a close family member. Take a risk and look for someone new. It is your responsibility to find someone to interview but if you are unable to find someone, please reach out to your instructor. Make sure to find someone knowledgeable in the field and/or about the company you selected.

Suggested questions to ask include but are not limited to:

What special skills, talents, or personality traits are necessary, or preferred, for this occupation?

What is the prospect for employment in this occupation, especially in the local area (Rowan and Cabarrus counties)?

What factors influence the availability of jobs in this field?

What should students keep in mind when looking at, pursuing, and/or beginning this type of career (generally or specifically)?

Can you describe a typical day in this, or your, career field?

What are the usual days/hours?

What do you enjoy most about this career choice or your job?

What do you consider to be the most challenging?

Is there anything else you would like to say or share that was not previously asked?

What advice can you give someone who wishes to go into this field?

This section, like the rest of the paper, must be written in narrative, paragraph form, not simply Q&A!!! You should introduce your interview subject (their name, job title, etc), tell a little about them and the interview, and then narrate your conversation. “I asked Ms. Smith what her favorite part of the day was. She said…” APA format requires that you cite personal communication in text only, in this format:

Ms. Smith also claimed that many of her students had difficulties with APA style (personal communication, November 3, 2002).

Section V: (20 points; suggested page length is 1 page) Finally, your last section will be used to reflect on your research and experience. In many cases, this is the most important section so you should give it plenty of effort and thought. For instance, reflect on how well you, the author, think you would fit in with this employer. You may need to describe your satisfaction in working in the career field that you have investigated. What did you learn? Suggested questions to answer include but are not limited to:

■ What personality traits/skills do you possess that would make you suited for this job?

■ What “real life” experiences have you had that have prepared you?

■ How has this research confirmed or changed your plans and why?

■ Are there any areas in which you need to continue to develop skills?

■ Which aspects of the field/position do you like/dislike and why?

■ Which aspects/characteristics do/do not fit you as a person and a potential employee?

Conclusion Paragraph


Appendix Items


The paper must include references from at least six sources (including the interview). To avoid plagiarism, you must cite information gained from other resources using standard, APA format. Refer to your e-Text, the LRC resources, Purdue OWL, or your instructor for further information and guidance.

Attachments (include in Appendix at end):

1. Your paper must include the informational interview form provided with this information.

2. A copy of a thank you note (or email) you sent to the person interviewed is to be included, as well.


Each area represents a percentage of the total points available for the essay component. Omitting a section will have a significant impact on the final grade.

Informational Interview Form

Person Interviewed:_______________________________________________________

Title or Occupation: _______________________________________________________


Address or Web Site of Business:____________________________________________

Phone Number or Email Address:____________________________________________

Date of Interview:________________________________________________________

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