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Top 19 Career Research Tools

Many of us fall into a rut when it comes to our careers, settling for the status quo instead of researching career paths that could be both personally and professionally fulfilling. Given the amount of time we spend in the work world, it makes sense to focus more time on career planning so we can be happier at work.

Fortunately, there has never been a better time to conduct career research online. Monster's suite of career tools can help you plan and manage all aspects of your career, while resources available on government and other sites can help you round out your career and industry knowledge. So whether you are ready for a new caree

Want to research a specific employer or are looking for salary data to negotiate a job offer, the tools you need are right at your fingertips. Get started by checking out these sites:

Monster's Career Exploration Tools

* Career Snapshots: This tool provides information for 2,500 occupations, including details on job duties, growth projections and related careers as well as links to featured job openings. There's even a section for people in the industry to give the scoop on what it's really like to work in the field.

* Career Mapping: A vital tool for understanding your career options, Career Mapping can help you plan how to reach your desired goal. Enter your job target and map out the most likely steps for getting there; alternatively, you can create your own career path based on your interests. You can save your career path and search available jobs.

* Career Benchmarking: Wondering how you stack up against people in similar positions? Answer a few questions about your current or most recent job, and find regional and national data on salaries, benefits, work-life balance, education, training, experience level and commute time.

* Career Advice: A virtual treasure trove of expert advice, Monster's Career Advice section contains more than 2,000 articles on topics such as job hunt strategies, resumes and cover letters, interview tips, salary negotiations, workplace issues, and career development.

* Advice Forums: Need some interactive career guidance? Check out Monster's Career Advice forums to get tailored job search and career advice from experts and other job seekers.

* Monster Blog: Follow the Monster Blog for job hunting tips and ideas for career planning and management.

Career Assessment

* Time for a Career Assessment? If you are ready for a change but could do with some introspection and assessment first, this article provides resources and links to a variety of career assessment tools.

* Career Testing Can Help Direct the Directionless: Includes links to popular career tests that can help point you in the right career direction.

* Analyze Your Career with a Personal SWOT: Learn how to size up your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to assess the state of your career and help make sound decisions.

Salary and Benefits Information

* Salary Wizard: Want to know what you're worth? Enter your job title and zip code, and find out the base salary range for your profession and location.

* Cost-of-Living Wizard: If you're considering a move, use this tool to compare salaries and living costs between cities.

* Job Assessor: Size up two offers by rating the factors that are most important to you in a job.

* Millionaire Maker: When will your bank account reach seven figures? Input your salary and savings information to find out.

Federal Career Tools

* CareerOneStop: The Department of Labor's resource for job information. Learn about occupations, job duties, wages, education requirements and employment trends.

* O*NET: O*NET's database contains hundreds of occupation-specific descriptions, including work activities, relevant work values, training requirements, industry projections and sources for additional information.

* Bureau of Labor Statistics: Find statistics about your desired industry, including trends, projections for growth and layoff data.

Company-Specific Research

* Monster Job Search: In addition to searching for a specific job, you can use Monster's job listings to conduct career research. Browse jobs by job title, skills and location to see who's hiring and what qualifications employers are seeking.

* Hoover's: Search Hoover's extensive database of companies and organizations for key information about potential employers. You can also research industries and learn about top players and industry growth indicators.

* Securities and Exchange Commission: If you're targeting public companies, research SEC filings to assess a company's financial health.

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