Career & Industry Research

Get ready for your dream job

Career & Industry Research

Maybe you’ve already decided what your dream job is, or maybe you don’t have the slightest clue. Regardless, you likely have a strong desire to define your career path. In order to shape your job search, you must first design and execute your own blueprint for success and professional fulfillment.

Understand the Industry

Take a moment to consider this basic, yet essential question. What do you know about the tech industry? It’s important to begin by building a broad understanding of any industry you are trying to enter. As you perform industry research, the question you’re trying to answer is whether the industry is a good fit for you. Once you know the answer, you’ll be able to get more granular with defining job search parameters such as position, type of company, location, and more.

Quiz: Are You Cut Out for a Tech Job?
Break Into Tech

This simple quiz will help you answer an important question to kick off your career & industry research.

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What are Tech Companies Really Like?
Break Into Tech

Get an inside look at some major companies in the tech industry.

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Discover What Makes You Happy

Before you can decide the objective of your career development, you’ll have to build a better understanding of yourself. You can do this by discovering key clues on the professional and personal needs you must satisfy in order to be happy. Here’s a sample of personal questions to consider:

  • Talents & Abilities: What skills do you wish to develop/are developing? 
  • Personal Traits & Values: How would you describe your personality? What are some values that matter to you above all? 
  • Passion & Purpose: What makes you get out of bed in the morning? What kind of mission do you wish to contribute to?
  • Compatible Environments: Do you need to be in a certain geographic location? How big of a company and what stage?

Connect the Dots

As you identify clues about what you want to do in life based on these personal questions, try connecting them to the qualities and attributes of the job that you’re interested in. Even if you don’t have all of these skills and qualities yet, that’s okay. You can modify your career planning and skills inventory to include new skills and personal qualities to develop.

Leveling Matrix - Software Engineering Attributes

This leveling matrix maps the qualities and attributes necessary for software engineers. Use it for your career planning and skill inventory!

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Digital Marketing Careers
Career Resource Center

Explore potential career paths in Digital Marketing. 

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Data Science Careers
Career Resource Center

Explore potential career paths in Data Science.

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If you’re still brainstorming, cast a wide net and explore many fields and positions that might be a good fit for you. The tools shared below will prove especially useful as you develop a list of companies and jobs that interest you. Even Twitter, LinkedIn Company Pages, and Job Boards will prove useful as you complete this stage of your career research.

Additional Tips:

  • Quora, The Muse, Crunchbase, AngelList, and Glassdoor all provide useful information on different companies and careers. 
  • Here's a sample of how to inventory your skills and keep track of your progress (note there are 3 tabs in the spreadsheet). Make a copy and get started! (To make a copy, do one of the following: “file” → “make a copy” OR “file” → “download as... Microsoft Excel (.xlsx)”).

Learn More Through People

You’ve heard this advice again and again, and we know it can be hard to act on it. However, only by talking to people to find out more about the right fit and industry will you be prepared to recognize the job that is right for you when the time comes.

Informational Interviews
Career Resource Center

Learn how to successfully request, conduct, and follow-up on information interviews.

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Don’t Give Up

Working on the job search comes with its unique set of emotional pressures. You may have to get used to having doubts and staying strong to overcome those misgivings. Keep yourself on track by having physical evidence (such as the research you’ve done) and emotional support that helps you stay motivated.

Udacity: Inspiration

We hope that these inspiring student stories and interesting industry developments will help you stay motivated in your own job search! 

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