Career Research Essay

Career Essay


This project provides an opportunity to explore your career choice. It requires inquiry, analysis, and reflection.


Length: A range of 6-8 pages is sufficient, including title and reference pages. At a minimum, write one thorough paragraph for each content area (A-G). At a maximumdo not exceed 10 pages, including title and reference pages.


Format: Use APA style 7th edition. APA is the standard style for research and publication writing in the natural and social sciences. EDUC 1300 falls under the education and psychology fields; therefore, APA is the style of choice for this course.

APA Guidelines and Tips (See the APA Module in Canvas for more guidance and resources.):


1. Margins, Spacing, Font, and Pagination:

· Set margins at 1 inch on all sides. Left margins should be flush; right margins ragged (not justified).

· Double-space the entire paper (title page, body, references). Set this as the default.

· Use 11 or 12-point font size.

· Number all pages, including title and reference pages. Insert the page number in the upper, right corner (with no “p.” or “page” before the number).


2. Title Page:

· Three to four lines from the top margin, type the title in upper and lower case, centered, bold, no quotation marks. You may use the words Career Essay or create your own title.

· Two lines under the title, type: your name, department and college name, course number and name, professor’s name, due date (typed in upper and lower case, centered, doublespacednot bold):

Student’s Name

Department of Student Success, Houston Community College

EDUC 1300: Learning Framework

Professor’s Name

Due Date

· You do NOT need an author’s note on the title page. You do NOT need an abstract.

· ide/documents/20200128APA7StudPaper.pdf


3. Body and Headings:

· Begin the body of your paper on page 2. Before typing the first paragraph, type the title again at the top of page 2, in upper and lower case, centered, bold.

· You are now ready to write the introduction to your paper (See Part A on next page.)

· Do not use the word Introduction as a heading. Instead, write the introductory information without a heading. Use headings for Parts B-G of the essay content.

· Use level one headings. Type headings in upper and lower case, centered, in bold. o Example for Part B, simply type: Career Summary Information

· ide/apa_headings_and_seriation.html


4. In-text Citations (required for items B, C, D, and E):

· ide/in_text_citations_the_basics.html


5. References:

· Begin the reference list on a new page at the end of the essay.

· Title this page as References (plural), typed in upper and lower case, centered, in bold.

· Use a hanging indent, and double-space the entire page.

· ide/reference_list_basic_rules.html


Essay Content – Address all of the following items in your paper:


A. Tell your story—as an introduction. Write in first-person. How and when did you become interested in your career choice? Consider any possible role models or others who may have influenced your choice. Consider life experiences that have influenced your choice. How do your interests, values, and abilities factor into your choice? How or why is your career choice a good “fit” for you? Consider your Career Coach assessments. In-text citations required for assessments.


B. Review and briefly report information from the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). Address the work environmenteducation, and/or certification, and licensing required, important qualitiespay, and job outlook. Include personal reactions to some of the information. For example, what are your thoughts regarding the job outlook? You may quote or paraphrase the information; however, quoted portions should be briefBe selective in choosing what to quoteIn-text citations required.


C. Review and briefly report local information (annual salary, job outlook, etc.) for the Houston area. Use Career Coach, Career OneStop, or a credible local source. In-text citations required.


D. Describe the kind of lifestyle you would like to live. Is the reported salary in the OOH and Texas Reality Check (TRC) enough to support such a lifestyle? If the OOH and TRC resources indicate you will not have enough income to cover your expenses, what steps will you take to address the deficits? If the resources indicate a surplus, how might you use the extra income? In-text citations required.


E. Compare/contrast the annual salary you will need to live your desired standard of living in Houston to the same lifestyle in two other cities. Include information from the CNN Money Cost of Living Calculator. Report the largest percentage differences among the cities. Discuss whether family, groceries, housing, and/or transportation are significant factors in deciding where to live. Discuss whether your career is dependent upon location. Based on your analysis, which city would you prefer? In-text citations required.


F. Consider volunteerism and community service. Select two organizations or charities in the Houston area for this part of the essay. You do not need to call or visit the organizations; however, do provide a brief description of each. Describe how you could help your community and what transferable or “soft skills” you might use in your service. Consider how this experience could help you build your professional network. Feel free to write about actual volunteer experience you have had, if applicable to the career essay. In-text citations required.


G. Describe your long-term SMART career goal. What is the approximate date you plan to achieve your goal? Describe three specific steps you will take. Identify obstacles or barriers you may encounter and explain how you will address each. (See Goal Setting Assignment.)


Optional Concluding Thoughts (to add to Part G): Do you see yourself in this same career for ten, 20, or 30 years? If you could “fast forward” 20 or 30 years, what would you hope to have contributed to this field, or hope to have accomplished in this career? Consider the following:


Remember Your Purpose


While digging deep into the details of career planning, take some time to back up to the big picture. Listing skills, researching jobs, writing résumés—all of this is necessary and useful. At the same time, attending to these tasks can obscure our broadest goals. To get perspective, we can go back to the basics—a life purpose.


Your deepest desire might be to see that hungry children are fed, to make sure that beautiful music keeps getting heard, or to help alcoholics become sober. When such a large purpose is clear, smaller decisions about what to do are often easier.

Ellis, D. (2009). Becoming a Master Student, p. 398


If you have any concerns or questions about this project, do not hesitate to contact me. –Dr. Jones



Websites: < Occupational Outlook Handbook < Texas Reality Check < CNN Money Cost of Living Calculator < Volunteer Match

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