An article in the Wall Street Journal – personal journal on 18th June discussed to what extent a test can help young people choose their ideal career.
The article says that there is rising demand for young people to take these to help choose what to study at university and for a future career.
Remember a test can never tell you what to do, but it does help develop self understanding so you are better paced to make the right choice for you.
The university career service is always the first choice to see what help is available, and for many this will help steer them into the right place to look for the careers that interest them. They have less time though if you are unsure and need to take more time on exploration.
Popular low cost tests are interest inventories such as the Strong Interest Inventory assessment or The Self Directed Search – both based on the work of John Holland which divides people and jobs into 6 categories
· Realistic – practical focused jobs
· Investigative – research and analytical jobs
· Artistic – creative jobs in an unstructured environment
· Social jobs – helping, caring for or instructing people
· Enterprising jobs – involving selling, business or persuading
· Conventional jobs – systematic jobs involving organising and processing data
You can take the Strong Interest Inventory via a number of online websites including my personal assessments web site. You answer 291 questions and your answers are compared to people who like their job, are good at their work and have been in their job for 3 years or more.
The downside of these sorts of tests are that they are based on interests and just because we have certain interests doesn’t mean that we can do these – I’m a close match with fine artist, but don’t have the talent.
It’s for this reason that people will choose to take an ability assessment such as from the non profit Johnson O’Connor Foundation which provides 2 in person in-depth assessment sessions and a follow up interpretive session at their centres, or The Highlands Ability Battery which is based on the Johnson O’Connor assessment but available as an online assessment and followed by an in-depth discussion.
In the article in the Wall Street Journal, the authors daughter took the Highlands Ability Battery and he derived more than 12 possible careers and also discussed career planning skills.