EVE Online blogger Morphisat recently unearthed a good video tutorial on the profession of exploration, by a player called SRRAE. In a vast, open galaxy like EVE Online's setting of New Eden, the option of becoming an explorer is an appealing one. However, despite the name 'exploration,' players cannot actually discover new solar systems. They can, however, find hidden content throughout space, both in highsec and lowsec. This can include hidden asteroid belts (presumably with rarer ores to mine), hacking and archaeology sites, harvestable gas clouds used in drug production, and numerous combat encounters.
Admittedly, exploration is not an easy profession to pick up for beginners, but with enough skills related to scanning and covert ops, paired with a decent understanding of game mechanics and the value of a cloaking device, exploration can be lucrative -- particularly in 0.0 space. Of course, there will inevitably be times where an explorer is simply burning off scan probes in the futile hope of finding something new. Perhaps SRRAE has become a victim of his own success, as he recently lamented the downside of exploration's growing popularity among New Eden's capsuleers.