Career Key

Author: Career Key's President and CEO, Juliet Wehr Jones, GCDF, J.D.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Promising Careers 2011 Part 5: Enterprising Careers

Explore these promising Enterprising career options, and consider how you might combine them with a growth industry (see my previous post on finding careers in high growth industries). In part 5 of our series, Promising Careers 2011, we focus on careers compatible with Holland's Enterprising personality type.

While business, finance, and sales careers took big job loss hits in the last few years, you can see how much of a difference it makes to be in the right industry.

For example, real estate and banking have had massive layoffs and restructuring this recession.  But it's different story when you look at similar Enterprising careers in finance, business, management and sales jobs in growth industries like health care, technology, and the green economy.  No job is perfectly secure, but an aging population and the continued importance of energy makes managing projects and manipulating (in a positive way, right?) systems in these fields more promising.

To learn more about how to use this list and what "promising" means, please visit Part 1- our introduction and 4 Smart Strategies for Career Planning. We recommend starting with our valid career assessment that measures Holland's personality types, The Career Key test.  You'll also want to explore the careers for other personality types that fit you (see list at the post's end).

Promising Enterprising Careers by Career Key Work Group

Holland's Theory of Career Choice and a description of the Enterprising personality type:

Sales and Purchasing


Business Administration

Government and Public Administration

Regulations Enforcement

Legal Practice and Support


Other promising careers by Holland personality type in this series (there will be links when posted):

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Promising Careers 2011 Part 4: Social Services, Nursing and Education Careers

Are you interested in promising social careers, like different careers in social services, nursing and education? In part 4 of our Promising Careers series, we list careers that are compatible with Holland's Social personality type, linking them to career information from the U.S. Department of Labor.  Our series has one post for each Holland personality type.

For the introduction and 4 Smart Strategies for Career Planning, feel free to start with Part One of our Promising Careers series. It also has a description of what we consider to be a "promising" career.

When you click on each career, you'll see career information from the O*NET. But while they have good information about skills required and local job openings via CareerOneStop, I highly recommend you either click on the "Sources of Additional Information" at the bottom of each O*NET occupation page - the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) specifically, or visit the OOH separately to search for the occupations that interest you. The OOH has much better education and training information than the O*NET (see my previous post comparing the two). Using both sources is ideal.

If Social Services interests you, you might download this excellent new (September 2011) PDF from the Occupational Outlook Quarterly called "Helping Those in Need: Human Service Workers."

Promising Social Careers by Career Key Work Group

Holland's Theory of Career Choice and a description of the Social personality type

Social Services
Child, Family and School Social Workers
Emergency Management Specialists

Nursing, Therapy, & Health Promotion

Child and Adult Care

Education and Library Services

Sport, Recreation and Fitness

Explore other Holland personality types in this series (I will add links when they are posted):
Promising Realistic Careers
Promising Investigative Careers
Promising Artistic Careers
Promising Enterprising Careers
Promising Conventional Careers

Related Blog posts:
3 Creative Approaches to Gathering Career Option Information (using nursing as an example)
5 Ways to Channel your Inner Career Choice Optimist - Being Realistic but Optimistic
Job Outlook for Careers Matching the Social Holland Personality Type (2009)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Promising Careers 2011 Part 3: Art Careers

Are there promising art careers for Artistic personality types out there? You bet. In part 3 of our 6 part Promising Careers 2011 series, we list careers that are compatible with Holland's Artistic personality type. Visit part one for an introduction and tips for "how to use" this list.

Unsurprisingly, there are few Artistic jobs given a "bright outlook" by the U.S. Department of Labor. Maybe if you lived in Renaissance Florence, creating art would be considered a "growth industry," but in today's world, pursuing an Artistic career with a living wage requires - well - a little creativity.

Expand your career options: Combine your Artistic interests with other strong interests
One way to expand your Artistic career options in a creative way is to combine your Artistic interests with other strong interests you have.  For example, when you take The Career Key test, we recommend that you explore at least your two strongest personality types indicated by your test scores.  Make sure you read this short summary of Holland's Theory that explains the relationship between personality types and which ones are more compatible than others.

Common combinations of top two strongest types might be:
Artistic and Investigative
Artistic and Social

So we added a few Investigative and Social careers that can have a strong Artistic aspect to them. For a complete list of promising Investigative Careers, go to Part 2 of this series.  For Social Careers, I'll post that list later this week and link it up.

Combine Art with a Growth Industry
While they may not have a large number of job openings, you may be able to find your niche in growing industries like the sciences and healthcare.  Try combining:

Photography with the sciences: Scientific Photographer
Illustration with the Health Sciences and Medical Field: Medical and Scientific Illustrator
Graphic design with Computer Science: Video Game Designer

Last caveats:
  • A few of these careers did not meet the U.S. Department of Labor's "bright outlook" standards but have at least an average or above average rate of growth if data is available.
  • You can combine artistic interests with the commercial world in ways that you might not have thought of - and in ways that satisfy your values. Keep an open mind.  
  • Make sure to read the Occupational Outlook Handbook summary on Artists and related occupations.  It will be updated in late March 2012 (from 2010) but is still relevant now.
  • Self-employment is common in the arts. Learn more about Self-Employment here and whether self-employment might be right for you at the Self-Employment Key website.
Promising Artistic Careers by Career Key Work Group

Holland's Theory of Career Choice and a description of the Artistic personality type

Literary Arts
Technical Writers

Visual Arts
Graphic Designers
Landscape Architects
Multi-Media Artist or Animator
Scientific Photographers
Medical and Scientific Illustrators

Interpreters and Translators

Promising Social Careers with a strong Artistic aspect (SA)
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
Self-Enrichment Education Teachers
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education
Special Education Teachers, Preschool, Kindergarten, and Elementary School
Training and Development Specialists

Promising Investigative Careers with a strong Artistic aspect (IA)
Biochemists and Biophysicists
Video Game Designer;  learn more in "Work for Play: Careers in Video Game Development" in Occupational Outlook quarterly, September 2011 PDF article.

Explore other posts in this series (I will link to them as they are posted):
Promising Realistic Careers
Promising Investigative Careers
Promising Social Careers
Promising Enterprising Careers
Promising Conventional Careers

Related Blog Posts on Artistic Careers that might interest you:
Self-Employment and Artistic careers - including my grandfather's story as an artist (illustrator and sculptor)
Artistic Careers Job Outlook (2009)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Why Maps (and related promising careers) Still Matter

As I was working on the blog's new Promising Careers list, I came across several map related occupations (see list below) and I admit thinking at the time - really? I love maps and nautical charts and prefer using them to GPS, but I admit I was a little skeptical about promising job outlooks for careers in geography and cartography.

Then this morning I heard this fascinating public radio program (KUOW Seattle): "The History and Adventures with Maps with Ken Jennings." (The podcast is free) It really made me think about maps' roles in history and where we are going now with Google Maps and technology. The program gives insight into why maps are still relevant today. Ken Jennings's infectious enthusiasm about maps makes for a great interview. If you liked the movie "National Treasure" and making history come alive, you'll enjoy it.

Promising Careers involving maps...
Cartographers and Photogrammetrists (Realistic Personality Type)
Mapping Technicians (Realistic)
Surveying and Mapping Technicians (Realistic)
Geographic Information Systems Technicians (Investigative)
Geospatial Information Scientists and Technologists (Investigative)
Geographers (Investigative)

Promising Realistic Careers
Promising Investigative Careers

For more tips on learning more about certain occupations, visit our website article, "Learn about Occupations."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Promising Careers 2011 Part 2: Investigative Careers that Fit Your Personality

Our Promising Careers 2011 list continues with the second Holland personality type, Investigative.  If you score high in the Investigative personality type using a valid Holland career test like The Career Key, then consider these promising careers that fit you.  You'll find careers in science, technology, engineering and math: a.k.a. "STEM" careers.

To catch the intro to this 6 part series, including what we consider a "promising career", 4 Smart Strategies for Career Planning, and how to use our career list, see Part 1: Promising 2011 Careers that Match Your Personality.

To explore the other Holland personality types, see Promising Realistic Careers, Promising Artistic Careers, Promising Social Careers, Promising Enterprising Careers, and Promising Conventional Careers. And to see lists by personality type of college majors and training programs, green jobs, career clusters and pathways, visit The Career Key website.

Make sure that when you click on each one below to see career information from U.S. Department of Labor's O*NET, go to the bottom of that O*NET page to see other recommended resources, like the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH).  Both O*NET and the OOH offer different career information so be sure to explore both.

Promising Investigative Careers by Career Key Work Group

Physical Sciences

Life Sciences

Health Sciences

Laboratory and Medical Technology

Computer Science & Technology

Mathematics and Data Analysis


Social Sciences

Monday, September 19, 2011

Promising 2011 Careers that Match Your Personality

This practical, promising 2011 careers list from career guidance leader Career Key shows you how to match your personality to living wage (or better) careers that make sense in today’s economy. Holland’s Theory of Career Choice is one of the most widely used and respected career choice theories used by professional career counselors.

This will be a 6-part series (all linked together at the end) - 1 post for each personality type.  Included are 4 Smart Career Planning Strategies to put it all in perspective.

It’s time for us to choose more promising careers….
Of the largest 10 occupations in the U.S., only one (registered nurses) had an average salary over $44,410. That’s the mean for all U.S. occupations. (BLS, 2010) When you consider what food costs and the money it takes to support a family, that’s a staggering number of people making very little money – many of them in so-called “growth” a.k.a “service-related” jobs like cashiers and fast food workers. It’s also consistent with the latest Census national poverty rate of 15%. 

While it's true accountants, engineers, nurses and practically any occupation in the sciences is the ticket to good job opportunities and wages, there are many other options, with a variety of education and training requirements.

What is a “promising” career? 
It’s a career that,

  • requires more training and education beyond a high school diploma*;
  • has decent projected future job openings – a “bright outlook” according to the U.S. Department of Labor;
  • exists in a growth industry or industries found nationwide**; and
  • provides a “living wage” job (one with which you could possibly support a family) (minimum median $30,000/year).

*99.9% of all living wage jobs require at least a high school diploma, but not necessarily a 4 year college degree. (If you disagree, send me stats that say otherwise)

**I excluded careers that I thought were too specialized or narrowly focused (like biofuels processing). Explore our Green Jobs article for more promising, specialized green and energy-related jobs.

Begin with 4 Smart Career Planning Strategies
  1. Take the right approach to work – the Free Agent Outlook.
  2. Take a practical, 3 step “end-game” approach to career planning. 
  3. Explore our promising career list below to help you decide on your career path. Find more resources at The Career Key website:  Match Your Personality to…  Careers, Green Jobs, College Majors and Training Programs, and Career Clusters and Pathways.
  4. As you consider your options, think about the costs and benefits.  Some careers require a big education investment (time, money) but prepare you for jobs that do not pay very much.  Consider the repayment of student loans.  Consider the industry in which you will be employed. Ask yourself:  Are there better paying, more promising options, in growing industries that fit your personality that you hadn’t considered before? Go back to our "Match Your Personality with..." Lists for more ideas.
How to use our promising careers list:
  1. Take our valid career test and career assessment to identify your Holland personality types you are most like, jobs that interest you, and learn more about each one;
  2. Explore our promising careers list, and identify careers you’d like to learn more about. Click on each one to visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*NET website description for that career. Don’t forget to click on links at the bottom of the O*NET page to (1) “Wages and Employment Trends” to get more local information relevant to you, and (2) “Sources of Additional Information”, which takes you to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The OOH gives you much better education and training information than O*NET (see my recent post about using O*NET vs. the OOH for researching career information).
  3. Do the activities listed in “Learn About Occupations” and “Learn More About the Jobs that Interest Me. Pay a lot of attention to your local situation – or the location you intend to work.  Talk to (ideally face to face) real people working in the careers that interest you before investing in any training or education program.
  4. Follow all 4 Smart Career Planning Strategies listed above.
Career Key's promising careers list by Holland personality type and Career Key work group...

Promising Realistic Careers
Safety and Law Enforcement


Construction Crafts and Support

Crafts – Mechanical

Crafts – Electrical-Electronic

Crafts – Metal, Wood, Plastic, Fabric

Manufacturing and Production

Promising Conventional Careers

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Career Key Offers New College Match Up! Service: New Participant, Community College of Rhode Island

We're pleased to announce our new service, College Match Up! for U.S. and Canadian college/university career services, academic advising, offices of retention and admissions. 
For each college or university participating in this new service, we create on The Career Key website a Match Up! page that will:
  • Publicly display online that college's majors by Holland personality type and Career Key work group, helping students scientifically match their personality to majors,
  • Provide information about each major,
  • Link visitors to important departments like Advising, Career Services, and
  • Give sound advice based on best practices and research in the field.
As usual, our websites have no ads, no registration requirement, or marketing to students.

Community College of Rhode Island, the largest community college in the Northeast, is the first to take advantage of the service. This is their new Match Up! page:

To see a short YouTube video overview of the new service...

It's easy to participate and affordable. If you'd like to learn more, please contact me!