U.S. Department of Labor
→ Occupational Outlook Handbook
Have you decided what you really want to be? This is the paramount question facing many students as they enter the career planning process. There is unfortunately no exact way to measure or find a single career that is best for you. Since the crystal ball approach doesn't work, the next best strategy is a thorough self-assessment process. One of the tools to use through this process is career testing. These tests and interest inventories help you see how your personal interests, skills and values fit into the world of work. The following is a description of some of the tests offered to students by Career Services. It is always advisable to discuss the results of your career inventories with professionally trained career counselors. Many times what seems like a random listing of no-good, worthless, waste-of-my-time information, may turn out to be valuable data when interpreted by a professional counselor.
Self-Directed Search, SDS
John Holland's instrument which measures person/environment match. This assessment tool asks you a series of questions about skills you have, professions you might be interested in and your career daydreams. Twenty minutes later you have a code to work with which will uncover multiple career areas for you to explore. This is one of the most widely used testing instruments in the field of career development. All of this plus cool handouts for you to take home makes this a great test.
Strong Interest Inventory
Thousands of jobs exist in the world of work. Use your interests results, as well as what you know about your values and skills, to help you find information about those occupational areas in which your interests and aptitudes are focused. The inventory can help you identify general areas of interests as well as specific activities and occupations that you might want to explore further. It tells you about your pattern of interests and how your interests compare with those of people from a wide variety of occupations.
What You Can Learn From Your Results:
- How you might find a job or career consistent with your likes and dislikes in the world of work
- How similar (or dissimilar) your interests are to the interests of people who are working in a variety of occupations.
- Work or learning environments that fit your interests.
There is a wealth of information available in your results. Understanding your profile will help you find your career focus and begin your career exploration. Your Strong results can be used to help you identify the following:
SkillScan is a game-like tool that helps students identify and label their skill preferences. The results integrate with interest inventories.
- Define the skills in which you have basic competence and the skills you would like to develop
- Identify the skills that you enjoy the most and that you would like to have play a major role in your work
- Select your most important skills, areas of preference and strength, to aid in decision-making of appropriate and satisfying career options.
- Develop a skill vocabulary to assist you in writing accomplishments for use in your resume and in expressing yourself in interviews.