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El Paso Community College
Library Research Guides

Career Resources: Find Background Information

How to use the library to find resources on your career.

What is Background Information



Now that you have a career in mind, find out some basic facts about that career.  These facts are called "background information."

Background information provides you with some basic knowledge about your topic so that you can narrow down your topic if you need to or it can provide you with some words you can use as keywords in the next step.

For the topic of careers, some basic background information includes:

  • Name(s) of the career.   
    • Example: Business - This is too big.  Be more specific.  What career in business? (Accountant, Estimator, Financial Advisor, Human Resources, Logistician,...)
      • You can narrow this down by reading more about careers in the field of business.
    • Example:  Wedding Planner - This is good, but it might be so narrow that it is hard to find.
      • Background research will help you learn that another name for wedding planner is Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners. 


  • Main Duties of the Job
    •    Example: Funeral Director
      • You may have a basic understanding of what the job includes, but background information will give you more knowledge and the correct wording to use to describe the job, qualifications, and education.
        • Example: Funeral Director - Mortician, Undertaker, Mortuary Science, Embalmer, ...

Career Resources - Background Information

Career Background Information on the Web

Occupational Outlook Handbook:

Career Information such as what does the job do, what kind of work environment is it, how do you get this job, what kind of pay can be expected, and what is the outlook for this job.  It also provides a listing of similar jobs.

 CareerOneStop (

Click on "browse occupations" - videos, wages, trends, skills, tasks, education, state trends

O*Net Online (

Enter career in search box. Provides Information on - Tasks, Tools & Technology, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Work Activities, Work Context, Education, Interests, Work Styles, Work Values, Wages, and Trends.

Salem eBooks on Careers

Salem eBooks are electronic books published by Salem Publishing.

To access:

  1. Go to the library homepage:
  2. Click on "eBook Collection."
  3. Click on "Salem eBook Collection."
  4. Login with MyEPCC login and password 
  5. View the books listed under the "Careers" heading.

Examples:  Careers Outdoors, Careers in Human Services, Careers in Financial Services, Careers in Chemistry, etc.

You can also put words in the search box to see what is available on your topic.

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