The Internet To Research College Options

By The FoolProof Team

Using The Internet To Research College Options:

Higher education, or education after high school, covers more than college. It includes technical/vocational training, military training, and other types of career training. The Internet can help you explore these various options.


General Tips

Because anybody can post anything on the Internet, you need to be sure that you select information that's reliable and useful. These tips should help.

  • Don't believe everything you read. Just because it's "in print" does not make it "true" or "factual." Always check the source.
  • Check the credentials of a site. "Who?" and "Why?" are the most important questions to ask. If you don't find that information, or find out that the source has inadequate authority, then don't use the site.
  • Watch out for sites that provide some basic information as a teaser to sell you something.
  • Find out what the site does with the information you provide before you provide it. This is usually included in their privacy policy. If you can't find the privacy policy, or don't like it, then don't use the site.
  • Provide the minimum of identifying information. Some sites may require that you register to access information, but don't give out personal information or credit card information. Good information is available without that.
  • How old is the information? Some sites may be from a reputable source, but if the site has not been updated in several years, its information may be out-of-date.
  • There is plenty of good, reliable information available for free or minimal cost.

Search Tips
Searching for information on the Internet can be frustrating. Following these tips should help your search go more smoothly.

  • Start with your state department of education, state university system, or state community college system websites. Many of these sites offer articles and links on college and career planning.
  • Use directories as well as search engines. Directory entries are selected by people. Search engine entries are compiled by computers. Yahoo! has a good directory. Google has both a good search engine and directory.
  • Use more than one search engine and directory. The Internet is so large that each search engine covers a very small portion of it, and there is very little overlap between engines.
  • Try to use precise keywords instead of common words to form your search. The more descriptive the keywords, the better the search results. For example, if you want to study music, specifically voice, include "voice" in your keywords as well as "music".
  • Use the advanced search capabilities to focus the search.
  • Check out the search tips or help for each search engine and directory you use. What works with one may not work with another.

Where to Start
These sites are just a selection of what is available.

  • Students.gov provides links to information on planning your education, paying for your education, career development, community service, military service, government 101, and travel and fun.
  • Life After High School is an article from TeensHealth. It provides tips covering options such as going to college or technical school, heading straight into the work force, or taking a year off to travel or volunteer.
  • Beyond High School provides overviews in the areas of finding a job, joining the military, volunteer work, vo-tech, internships, and apprenticeships.
  • Colleges and Careers from the High School Hub provides numerous links to college search information, financial aid and scholarships, career guides and opportunities, and many other topics.

Career Information
These sites provide information on specific occupations.

  • Today's Military - Military Careers provides details on more than 4100 enlisted and officer job paths. The Today's Military site also describes training, advancement, and educational opportunities with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
  • Career Zone is a career exploration and planning system designed for middle and high school students. Even though it is designed for New York state students the information it provides on 900 occupations is applicable no matter what state you live in. It also has career videos, and career portfolios.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook is produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. It describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the education and training needed, earnings and expected job prospects for a wide range of occupations.