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Has anyone used Strong Interest Inventory

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This is a program that OU offers to students who have not decided on a major. It is offered online and there is a high school version offered as well. It is a little pricey, but if it yields results I would certainly be willing to fork over the $$$. Would love to know if anyone has used it and what you thought of the results.


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My older two both took for free it durig their senior year of college. The feedback/results were spot-on for both kids, but I don't know how good the results would have been if they had taken it in high school or early in college.


For dd, the results supported the direction she was heading in. It made no difference except as a "Yes, this is a good direction for you" corroboration.


I wish ds had taken it his freshman or sophomoore year instead of his senior year. He had spent his prior years of college heading in one direction, and he had JUST decided that it was not the direction for him during second semester of his senior year. When he took the Strong Interest Inventory, his results strongly indicated that this direction was not only not a great direction for him but one that he was really unsuited for. He had just decided to change direction a few weeks earlier, but having those results a few years earlier might have made a difference in his approach to college.


FWIW, my kids' college gives the Strong Interest Inventory in conjunction with the Meyers-Briggs personality test. I think the overlay of personality and interests is quite helpful.

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Thanks, Gwen. I guess there is no great rush - I think it's free for them at the university. Perhaps I should just wait until he begins his freshman year. He has a general idea - engineering - but he's bouncing all over the place about what type. Unfortunately/fortunately he has a wide range of interests and is having a hard time narrowing it down. Thanks for the feedback.


Martha, I haven't had any of mine take the test at TCC. Is it free? My husband was talking about a career assessment test he took back in the old days and he wasn't impressed with the results - in fact, I think he was rather offended :laugh:

Apparently there are good and bad assessments :)

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Similar experience as Gwen. When I was in my mid-20s, I took the Strong-Campell Interest Survey (many years ago before Strong and Campbell split, and each has their own career assessment now), along with the Meyers-Briggs Personality Inventory. The combo is VERY helpful, as Gwen said. Also, being a bit older helps, too, as you tend to "know" yourself a bit better.


I don't think it would do any harm to wait until he gets to college and has access to free testing -- especially as he knows he wants to be in engineering, just not sure which branch yet.


And if he'd like to do some exploration on his own, below are some free resources, and one $5 career assessment that I used with our homeschooling group last year that worked pretty well for most of the students.


Warmest regards, Lori D.





1. Career assessments or interest inventories tend to divide your preferred ways of working into 6 interest areas:









You take your top THREE, and use just the first letter of each to find your "Holland Code" (named for John Holland who developed this system). For example, let's say your #1, #2, and #3 top interest areas were: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic -- so your "code" is R, I, A.


There are lots of website resources that then let you plug in that 3-letter "code", and come up with a big list of Career fields and specific occupations that match that code. And then they show related jobs, based on changing the order of those 3 letters of your "code". And then you can click on the job, and it describes the job; the salary; the education required; the future outlook for that job; etc. And then it gives you links for further research -- search for institutions that provide that specific type of education; college funding calculators; job hunting skill articles (how to make a resume; how to handle yourself in an interview; etc.)...


New York Career Zone is a very easy site to use once you know your 3-letter code, as is the California Career Zone website.


Here, and here are sites with free "interest inventories" or "career interest assessments" to get you started in figuring out your 3-letter code.



2. The other big, helpful resource is the US Bureau of Labor's "Career Clusters" survey, which then helps you see which of 16 general Career "clusters areas your strengths and interests are in, and then from there, you can explore the specific occupations ("pathways") through the free online Occupational Outlook Handbook (also print editions in most public libraries).


Here is a printable Career cluster survey

Here, here, and here are websites with information about the Career "clusters"

Here is the Occupational Outlook Handbook website (here is the site map -- I find it easier to navigate!)



3. And some more free Career exploration resources:

- Here is a very simple beginning Career exploration website for teens from the US Bureau of Labor website

- O-net, the big Occupation Network resource website

- Live Career (free short online test, and then a more-in-depth one for a fee)

- What Color is Your Parachute for Teens (career exploration book)



4. Kuder Career Search -- $5 assessment

Similar to the Holland Codes, but broken down into 10 "vocational preference groups", instead of 6 interest areas. The $5 assessment package includes directions, the self-scoring test booklet, and definitions of the 10 vocational preference groups, with a few specific occupations listed for each.

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Martha, I haven't had any of mine take the test at TCC. Is it free? My husband was talking about a career assessment test he took back in the old days and he wasn't impressed with the results - in fact, I think he was rather offended :laugh:

Apparently there are good and bad assessments :)


It was free for me as a student back in the day and it was ridiculously useless.


I know they still have a free option for enrolled students, but it might not apply to dual/concurrent high schoolers.


I would like a GOOD one for my third boy coming up. My oldest two have an idea what they want to do. But I will also say, I think any of these assessments only work when the person taking them knows themselves rather well. I have NEVER been a pigeon hole fitter. My likes and interests have always been way too diverse for these things to work with much accuracy. I thing that last one I took actually listed the top two career fields as mortician/autopsy person (can't remember title) and elementary school teacher. Both of which I would hate. LOL

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I had it in the dark ages when I was in college. I did not think it helped. I may have been a difficult case with too many areas that I liked and could be competent in and the Rogerian counselor that went with mine was not help at all. Up until then I had liked Carl Rogers but after that I rather the despised the whole repeat it back thing. I wanted something a bit more directed.

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