Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Survey of American Industry and Careers

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Survey of American Industry and Careers

Article excerpt

Survey of American Industry and Careers. Ed. by the Editors of Salem Press. Pasadena, CA: Salem, 2011. 6 vols. alkaline $695 (ISBN: 978-1-58765-768-9). Online access included with purchase of print.

Undergraduates and adults seeking to move into a new career may know that they want to work in a particular industry but not which particular profession to pursue. The 6-volume Survey of American Industry and Careers (S.A.I.C.) includes overviews of 112 industries, based loosely on the NAICS coding system. Each survey, which is fifteen to eighteen pages in length, includes many parts that are well-defined in the publisher's note at the beginning of volume 1. A survey starts with an industry snapshot identifying its associated NAICS codes, related industries, and annual revenues. The industry is then explicitly defined, and its history and current status is outlined in two to three pages. It is then profiled from three market segments: small, medium, and large-sized businesses. Content in these subsections includes the typical number of employees, the nature of employees' interactions with customers, the physical work environment, the pros and cons of the particular work environment, and the segment's financial costs (payroll, benefits, supplies, etc.). The next section describes the functions of several departments within a typical company in the industry (such as customer service, sales, marketing, production, and facilities). Finally, an industry outlook predicts the future of the industry, including employment advantages and annual earnings. Each profile includes a short biography of the author, as well as "Related Resources" and "Further Reading."

In addition to these standard sections, some surveys also include profiles of careers and tables demonstrating the value of an industry to the national economy in financial and employment terms. Among the industries surveyed are Batteries and Fuel Cells; Casinos; Corporate Education Services; Dental and Orthodontics; Funerary (Industry); Hand Tools and Instruments; Libraries and Archives; National and International Security; Political Advocacy; Residential Medical Care; Shipbuilding, Submarines, and Navel Transport; and Water Supply. …

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