Interest Areas: NCDA’s New Gateway To Online Resources

by Julie Levinson

Many of us use Internet resources as a regular part of our work. Whether looking for information for clients or professional development opportunities for ourselves, we spend increasing amounts of time using search engines, creating bookmarks, and attempting to keep up with what’s out there on the web. Recognizing this fact, NCDA set out to create a place where career development professionals can find a list of high quality and directly relevant sites.

When NCDA launched its newly redesigned website in the fall of 2004, a section entitled Interest Areas was created to address this need. Over the past few months, the Website Committee worked to develop a practical structure for organizing this section. Based on membership profiles, the Interest Areas were divided into 6 groups:

    1.College and University Counselors
    2.Counselor Educators & Researchers
    3.K-12 Counselors & Educators
    4.Graduate Students
    5.Private Practitioners
    6.Other Interest Areas

The committee has also been screening key online resources to be included in these pages. The end result was a set of links organized into the following topic areas:

    •Career Information Resources
    •Professional Development Opportunities
    •Related Associations
For those familiar with the previous structure of the NCDA website, some of these links were found on the Links for Career Practitioners page. This section will be removed within the next couple months since the Interest Area pages provide the same content in more depth. However, the Internet Sites For Career Planning page, which covers sites targeted at a more general audience, will remain.

With so much available on the web, it is easy to expend a lot of time and energy tracking down what you need. As a graduate student and career professional, I often found myself wishing there was a single gateway where I could more easily locate useful information. I am glad to have had the opportunity to work with the NCDA Web Committee to create just this kind of resource.

Obviously, any compilation of web-based resources requires constant user input to keep the information relevant and up to date. With this in mind, let us know of any obvious omissions or resources you think would be valuable to include. Please refer to the “Feedback” section at the bottom of each page for instructions on nominating sites for inclusion.

Julie Levinson, M.A., is a member of NCDA’s Website Committee. She can be reached at jbl73@aol.com.

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