Young people entering the job market for the first time or those considering a career change can try on several job hats by reading ''90 Most Promising Careers for the '80s,'' by Anita Gates (Monarch Press, New York, 7.95).
The 90 jobs discussed in this easy-to-use paperback fall into categories such as management and administration, engineering, clerical, repair, sales, design, computers, and science. Most of the careers were chosen on the basis of their projected rates of growth, as forecast by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Job descriptions are clear, conversational overviews covering job content, qualifications, work environment, and current trends and specializations within the field. Comments from people working in the particular field round out each section, with grass-roots advice about what it takes to get into the business and what it's like once you get there.
A box following each job description lists educational or other requirements, average earnings, competition for jobs, work style, best locations for seeking jobs, and the availability of part-time work.
The name and address of a professional association follows each job profile. These organizations are good sources for more detailed information about a particular field.
The book also suggests informational interviews as good resources. The author advises talking to someone with a position in the job level the candidate is likely to enter, however, rather than taking questions to a top executive. Employees in the lower ranks often have more time and more information relating specifically to a jobseeker's needs.
The book touches on general trends in the current job market, such as the growing service economy, which includes insurance and banking services, travel agents, catering, and house cleaning.
Job seekers interested in two growing career areas might consider combining them for added job security and fulfillment. Personnel work in a high-tech company or accounting with a legal specialty are two examples. Those still in school might look into a double major or consider getting a master's degree in a second subject that could contribute to a dual-interest career.