When it comes to an effective job search, the only question you have to answer is “What field do you want to enter, and what job are you looking for?” Many industry publications compile long lists of criteria to help workers assess their career compatibility and evaluate their potential goals. For you, as a job seeker, simplified field and functional perspectives are enough to help you check whether your qualifications meet an employer's qualification criteria.
The following sections provide brief descriptions for a variety of fields. With this general idea of what comprises a field, you can more easily determine your particular focus and your qualifications for performing a particular function.
The administrative field involves general office management as well as oversight of facilities and systems associated with day-to-day organizational activities. No matter their titles, many employees in this field work in administrative, customer service, or general office positions. Those serving within these functions are also responsible for large operations and organizations. They generally supervise many individuals, projects, and resources. Job functions include office services, facilities, security, management, and project management roles.
Architecture, Construction, and Engineering
This field is dominated by the principles and theories of science, engineering, mathematics, and design. Those in this field solve and carry out initiatives within research, development, manufacturing, sales, construction, inspection, and maintenance.
Arts and Media
This field includes the performing and fine arts; broadcast, print, and Internet media; and communication-oriented organizations. Settings include — but are not limited to — galleries, museums, radio and television stations, dot-com organizations, publishers, newspapers and magazines, public relations firms, and advertising agencies.
This sector includes almost any profit-driven activities. Most often, the business world is associated with large publicly or privately held companies that provide services or market products.
The communication field involves writing, graphics, public relations, publicity, and promotions. It includes all activities associated with creating, distributing, and transmitting text and graphic information via varied print, video, audio, computer, and Web-based media.
The education field includes private and public preschools, elementary schools, middle and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and tutorial and training operations.
This field involves accounting, budgeting, treasury, auditing, and information systems activities. It includes collection, documentation, and analysis of financial data and the use of this data to make strategic decisions and share pertinent information with investors, regulators, and government entities. It also includes allocation and growth of capital required for annual operations as well as growth.
Government includes all local, state, federal, and multinational organizations that pass legislation, offer and regulate services, lobby, and promote specific programs and resources.
Health and Human Services
Usually considered a part of the service sector, this field includes both individuals and facilities that offer medical, psychological, social, and related services. Practitioners can be private, government affiliated, or have nonprofit status. Hospitals, clinics, residential treatment facilities, agencies, and special programs all fit within this field.
This is a service sector that encompasses a broad variety of industries such as hotels, restaurants, casinos, travel, and tourism.
This field involves recruiting, retention, and staffing; compensation and benefits; training and development; and employee relations efforts. It includes all hiring, career development, compensation, and personnel management activities.
The legal field includes services and systems associated with enforcement of laws, such as judicial, regulatory, corrections, investigation, and protection organizations. Employers include government and private agencies, law firms, nonprofit entities, and courts and mediators.
Marketing involves new product development, product management, marketing analysis, research, product and sales support, advertising, promotions, public relations, and customer services. These functions can take place in consumer and industrial product manufacturers or at specialized consulting firms or agencies.
The sales field involves direct sales, representative sales, distribution and arbitrage, and retail sales. It includes all activities associated with sales of raw materials used to create products or the sale of products directly to consumers. It can also involve sales of financial or other services.
Science and Technology
The tech sector includes organizations and businesses associated with research, development, manufacturing, and marketing of new technologies.
Activities can be purely research and development-oriented or they can be product or service-oriented. Government, business, and education entities all fit within this specialized category.
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Technology and Operations
This field involves production, materials, traffic, and management of information systems. It includes overseeing or participating in the activities associated with producing tangible products and with purchasing, receiving, and storing raw material, components, or finished products. It is also associated with the allocation of human resources to specific assignments and with the operating, programming, or servicing of computers.