What Are Popular Career Planning Tools?

Get information about different types of career planning tools. Learn about popular tools, steps you can take to find your ideal career and resources to help you plan your career. Schools offering Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Career Planning Tools

Making good use of popular career planning tools can mean the difference between finding a new career with job security that offers advancement and deciding on a career that has no room for growth in the job market. Many career planning tools can be found online, and they can facilitate the decision to find or change a career.

Important Tools for Career Planning

Experiential Research Internships, volunteering, apprenticeships, work-study programs, temp jobs, job shadowing
Career Search Options Job fairs, employment agencies, online job boards, networking, informational interviews
Career Considerations Personal interest, required skills, necessary value, personality fit, educational background, advancement opportunity
Other Resources Online webinars, personality tests, classes at local public libraries


Using the tools of self-assessment will help you make an informed career decision. In this step in the process, you provide information that covers your values, personality, marketable skills and interests. Although there is no magical tool or computer application that can assess what the best career for you is, there are online tools to help guide you through this process. For instance, iSeek Interest Assessment (www.iseek.org) is an easy-to-use career planning tool that allows you to rate tasks that you would like to perform at your job. At the end of this 10- to 15-minute exercise, you will be presented with a list of occupations that might best fit your particular interests.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis takes into account your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This career planning tool is used by counselors in vocational rehabilitation to help clients with barriers to employment develop a career goal. A worksheet can be downloaded from MindTools.com.

Using this form, the advantages of your skills and education are established. Along with your strengths, your weaknesses are also listed. A list of considerations, such as how the employment outlook is in your area or the number of available job openings in a particular field, gives you insight into a career choice. Threats to your employability, which could be lack of transportation or a disability that might be a barrier to employment, are also identified. With this worksheet completed, you have a very good picture of your employability.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is an excellent tool for planning a career. By examining different occupations on the BLS website, you get a clear picture of how fast an occupation is expected to grow, educational requirements and other vital information for making a career choice. The BLS also provides a Similar Occupations page for each of its listings, giving you the opportunity to broaden your search and increasing your chances of finding a career that would be the perfect fit for you.

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