Researching Industries and Companies

In addition to getting a sense of what your interests, values, and skills are, it’s helpful to get an overview of industries of interest and companies you might like to work for. This research is part of making a career plan.

Industries and Occupations

There are a variety of resources that can help you research industries.

  • O*NET is a database for occupational information. With over 900 occupations, it aids job seekers in understanding the skills, abilities, and knowledge needed for their desired occupation.
  • IBISWorld and BCC Research are databases that provide users with industry and market information. From industry trends, profits, and outlook, you can get a good overview of the many industries featured. You can access both databases via your certificate or MIT email address.
  • Industries at a Glance, generated by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, are webpages that give a snapshot overview of over 100 industry profiles and present users with statistical information compiled from various BLS Surveys.


Here are a few great resources to check out as you compile a list of target companies. You can also see which companies are conducting interviews on campus using CareerBridge.

  • MIT Libraries offer information on a wide variety of companies and can help you create a list of target companies through databases such as Reference USA and OneSource. You can also meet with an MIT librarian to learn more about how the MIT library can help you research companies.
  • LinkedIn Company Pages are another good resource for company information and building out your list of target companies. If you know one or two companies you’re interested in, you can see similar companies or competitors by searching for the company on LinkedIn and seeing what other companies show up under the “People Also Viewed” box on the company LinkedIn page.
  • The Muse and other websites like Glassdoor can give you a glimpse of what the company culture is like at various companies through videos, photos, and employee reviews.
  • Career Fairs and Company Presentations at MIT provide a great opportunity for students to learn more about companies interested in hiring MIT students. These events are some of the best outlets to get your questions about these companies answered.


Other than researching industries and companies online and through MIT resources, meeting and talking with people is also a great way to learn more about specific companies or career paths. Consider conducting informational interviews with MIT alumni or other industry professionals in your field of interest. Meeting with people is not only a great way to gather information, it can help you get your foot in the door, too.

  • The MIT Alumni Database, sometimes known as ICAN or the Infinite Connection, is the first place you should look for professionals to reach out to for informational interviews. You can narrow the search by degree, courses, industry, and more to help find the right people to connect with.
  • Professional Organizations such as the National Society of Professional Engineers not only often have relevant internship and job listings, they’re also a great place to look for networking opportunities. View lists of professional organizations through BCC Research and IBIS World. Whether you decide to comb through membership lists or attend a professional development event, these organizations should definitely be on your radar as you seek to meet people in your field of interest.