Phase 1: Fields & Industries

Researching fields (education, law, medicine) and industries (banking, film/television, publishing) is an essential building block in your career planning process.  Reading, talking to professionals in your option areas, and, ideally, experiencing the work itself is how you will determine whether or not you fit with the environment, tasks, and people to be found in any given career.  Remember: stay open minded and gather sufficient information before you rule out a career option entirely.

General Resources Featuring Multiple Fields & Industries

Spotlight on Careers |


Arts & Communications covers a wide area, mostly within the for-profit sector, that can provide unique opportunities for creative expression while having profound impact on a large audience.  In this area, there are the creative positions (writer, editor, producer) and the more business oriented jobs (account manager, marketer, producer).  Remember, virtually ALL work involves an effort to sell a product or service of some kind!

Business covers a vast array of career options, but essentially comprises the more professions traditionally thought of as the for-profit sector.  This is the world of commerce, which includes multi-national corporations, the new start-ups, such as in renewable energy, on down to your local organic cupcake bakery.

Careers for the Common Good involves working in government and the private nonprofit sector (domestic and international nonprofit organizations), as well as nonprofit education and healthcare.  This is the area where many students feel drawn to apply their convictions and enthusiasm to make the world a better place. 

Education includes classroom teaching, working with youth (e.g., after school programs), educational policy and academia.  These resources relate primarily to elementary, middle school and secondary classroom teaching.

Health Professions includes the specific disciplines of osteopathic, podiatric, chiropractic, naturopoathic, and East Asian medicine; dentistry; veterinary medicine; and the work of physician assistants and nurse practitioners.  You may want to explore several or all of these areas before committing to one particular path of study.

Law is a broad field comprising private practice (large wall street firms to local solo practice), public interest law (private NPO's such as the ACLU and government agencies such as the US Dept. of Justice), and in-house corporate work (such as in-house counsel for a corporation or university).  People with J.D.'s, however, do a great deal of work unrelated to law in a variety of fields and industries: entertainment, international development, and education, to name a few.

Science and Engineering offer a vast selection of career options for those students who have an interest and "knack" for scientific and technical work, but who are curious about the many ways to apply scientific training beyond academic or industrial research.  People with science and engineering backgrounds apply their expertise in commerce, government, nonprofit work, education, and the health professions.  Chemists work in consulting, biologists work in medicine, physicists work in government, engineers teach math, and on and on.  Don't limit yourself!