A career paths quiz, or career assessment, is a tool designed to help individuals understand how personal attributes impact their potential success and satisfaction with different career options and work environments. Assessments are used to help individuals make more informed career decisions. They are often used by individuals and organizations such as universities, career counselors, outplacement companies, corporate human resources, executive coaches, and vocational rehabilitation counselors.
For more information on career assessments, please visit the Career Exploration course in the Texas OnCourse Academy.
A career assessment includes questions about hobbies, talents, interests, and overall personality. Career assessments are important tools for exploring postsecondary options because they highlight students' strengths and weaknesses. The assessment results present an opportunity for students to think about options that they had not previously considered, and it gives them a true sense of what they are currently capable of doing.
Students should come away having learned more about themselves, and the counselor or adviser should be able to use this information to help design a post–high school roadmap.
Assessments based on abilities and skills are designed to help students identify what they are good at and what they enjoy, which are major factors in job satisfaction. In addition to enjoyment, students should consider how long it will take to acquire the necessary skills to land their dream job. It’s important for students to ask themselves questions such as, “If a career has everything I am looking for but requires a master's degree, am I willing to do what it takes?"
After helping students understand the benefits and drawbacks of career assessments, it’s important to share the types of available career assessments. The first type is values-based assessments. Values – the ideas held most closely to a person – are often formed through life experiences, feelings, and family or peers. In the context of career planning, values generally refer to the things people value in a career. For example, some people value job security, money, structure, and a regular schedule. Others value flexibility, excitement, independence, and variety.
Students who are aware of their values are more likely to choose a career that is in line with their long-term needs and desires.
Take a look at this downloadable chart for great resources to use with students in assessing their values:
Interest-Based Assessment Resources
Interest inventories consist of a series of questions concerning what students like and dislike. Edward Kellog Strong Jr. was a pioneer in the development of interest inventories. He collected data on what people liked and disliked, discovering that people in the same career tend to have the same interests.
Browse this downloadable chart for resources that will help students understand the focus of their interests:
Ability and Skills Based Assessment Examples
The following downloadable list contains great resources to use with students in assessing their abilities and skills:
Personality assessments help students find a career that suits their characteristics, motivations, and needs when used in conjunction with assessments of values, interests, and skills.
A popular personality assessment is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). It was developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. It’s based on the ideas and framework expressed by psychologist Carl Jung. The assessment classifies personality types based on eight indicators: extrovert vs. introvert, thinking vs. feeling, sensing vs. intuitive, and judging vs. perceptive.
Here is downloadable chart with more personality assessments to share with your students:
Finally, don't miss out on our comprehensive blog on all things career exploration for students!