Using quality career information

At all stages of career development, you need to use good information about work and education options. As you or your children have questions about jobs and the industries they are found in or schools and the training programs or majors they offer, use information resources to find the answers. You cannot possibly know everything about work and education - it is OK not to have all of the answers! Take the opportunity to explore career information together.

The good news is that there is a great deal of information available. The bad news is that a lot of that information has limited value. We are bombarded daily with data and information in every conceivable form from friends, family, and colleagues, television, radio, newspapers, and now the Internet. We have to navigate our way through a bewildering array of pitches, suggestions, warnings, slogans, pictures, numbers, and sound bites. As individuals, it is very difficult to know what information to absorb and what to screen out. What is the wheat and what is the chaff?

Oregon offers a comprehensive career resource to schools, colleges, public agencies, and businesses that brings together the kinds of information and tools needed by career decision-makers of all ages. It is called the Oregon Career Information System (CIS). Most middle and high schools in Oregon have CIS available to their students and families. Ask the school counselor, librarian, or career center staff about how you can access it. (CIS is a password protected site; however, you can learn more about it at Oregon labor market information (OLMIS) is available online from the Oregon Employment Department at

What is good information?

What does "good" career information look like? Since there is so much information out there, professionals in the field of career development have defined characteristics that are critical. Here are the key criteria used to determine the value of career information:

These are some of the most important qualities that quality resources strive to achieve in making information useful for planning and decision-making. Oregon resources like CIS and OLMIS should be the place to start, but they are not the only sources of information available nor should they be the only sources someone uses. Information obtained from lots of sources creates a better picture and is more likely to result in successful career decisions and sound educational plans. Though it can sometimes be confusing and even conflicting, each source has its own unique strengths and limitations.

Adapted from the Idaho Career Information System with permission.