and career center for guides that help you take inventory of your skills and preferences and match the results with the characteristics of different fields. The most popular is What Color Is Your Parachute?, by Richard Bolles, a new revision of which appears each November. Bolles studied chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a degree in physics from Harvard. He offers many aids to help you to determine which skills you most enjoy using, the context in which you want to use them, and careers in which you can apply them (Jensen 1995). Other tools are now available online and can be reached via the National Research Council (NRC) Career Planning Center For Beginning Scientists and Engineers (

Assessment of your skills, of your preferences, and of the careers that might be available to you continues as you complete each degree and gain work experience. The time to begin is now, and you should renew this assessment annually throughout your career.

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