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Not for your class perhaps, but you may want to see what your local community college offers and make parents aware of any services they have (ours offers a couple of tests followed by a meeting to talk about them for homeschoolers, even if they aren't attending--a service which I wish I had known about a year sooner!)

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Above, Kinsa linked that pinned thread at the top of the high school board ("Transcripts, Credits… Career Exploration -- past threads linked here!"), which has quite a few linked past threads on the subject of career exploration at the bottom of post #5.


From my experience of doing several rounds of career exploration with grades 6-12 homeschool students, I'll just throw out there that middle schoolers, and even many high schoolers, are still quite young to "know" who they are or what their interests really are when they take the career tests, and most really have no idea of what they might want to do for a job even after doing some career exploration.


They did have a lot of fun taking the tests, but I think what was even more helpful was bringing in speakers from the community to share about all kinds of different career fields.* So that might be something to try and do for each class -- bring in 2 people to share about their occupations for 40 minutes, and then go over test results (that they do at home) for the last 20 minutes of the class. Just a thought! Below are some links to resources. Hope something there is of help! Warmest regards, Lori D.


* =  we held an annual all-day careers day for all the homeschool groups, with an average of 150 people attending. The day was scheduled with seven 40 minute timeslots -- we opened with one all-group session, and the other 6 timeslots each had 4 speakers at each timeslot for students to choose from; we worked to have a wide variety of speaker types, and one "track" of sessions throughout the day was more "demo" or "hands-on" based to help hold the interest of the gr. 6-8 students, and one "track" of sessions throughout the day was more college or post-high school based to be of help/interest to gr. 11-12 students and parents.




There are 4 types of career assessment tests you will run across:


Personality Inventory = helps see how your personality fits in with others in a work place
(examples: Meyers-Briggs Indicator; Keirsey Temperament Sorter)

Personality Testing: Open Extended Jungian Type Scales: -- free printable test, similar to the Meyers-Briggs personality types

Color Personality Test -- free printable test; less specific and less individualized than other tests, as it is designed for working in teams and understanding strengths/needs of each of the 4 colors, so useful in places of employment

Fun Education: free online test

Team Technology: free online test

Interest Inventory = ways you like to work
(examples: Campbell Interest & Skill Survey; Strong Interest Inventory)

most of these tests are based on, or are variations on, the 6 work interest areas of the Holland Codes

California Career Zone: free online test (and lots of resources for exploring careers)


Work Values Survey = what brings meaning/is important to you in working

Univ. of Notre Dame: Work Values Inventory: free printable test

Work Values Inventory: free online test
Saint Anselm College, free test


Aptitude Assessment (Work Skills) = determines specific abilities/skills
(used specifically by employers to know if you have specific skills needed for the job -- such as, how many words a minute do you type;  do you have specific training/certifications; etc.)
Univ. of Notre Dame: Career Center: Skills Inventory: free printable inventory

California Career Zone: free online skills profiler
Career One Stop: free online skills profiler


Additional Test Resources

Career Exploration for 6th-7th graders from Learning for Life -- a free online teaching supplement

Everything Career Tests Book (secular) and student packet resources from Rod & Staff (Christian) look interesting -- the book has 10 different tests in it, and the packet walks the student through the book




Starting with an interest inventory test helps you understand the ways you like to work, which then helps you narrow down what kinds of jobs match up with the ways you like to work. Most of these tests are a variation of the Holland Code, which is organized with six interest areas and then the career fields and specific jobs that use those interests. This Wikipedia article explains the Holland Codes and lists lots of job ideas under each of the six interest areas.


The CA Career Zone website has a nice, free test you can take online, and then lets you explore various careers. Then once you know your specific interests and have an idea about some possible job areas, you can explore the US Bureau of Labor's free online Occupational Outlook Handbook for info on specific careers, plus different ways to do a search to come up with a list of careers to look at (by salary; by amount of education required; by how much growth that field expects in the next 10 years; etc.).


Since you also want to explore Career Clusters, you may find this Career Cluster / Holland Codes "Map" to be helpful -- it is a graphic organizer map of the 16 Career Clusters matched up with the 6 work interest areas of the Holland Codes.




Another way to approach career exploration is with Career Clusters. It is a national educational organizing tool that divides career areas into 16 "clusters", and then into 70 more specific "pathways" of the essential knowledge/skill required for the "cluster". The pathways then branch into over 1800 "crosswalks", which are the specific jobs, which can be researched by "crosswalk" at the Dept. of Labor's O-Net website. O-Net ("O" for Occupations) allows you to read info on the various "crosswalks", search by career cluster, industry, STEM jobs, and more. One good starting point at this website is the O-Net: Career Clusters link which takes you directly to the Career Clusters info on O-Net. (Another way to explore O-Net is to go to the "My Next Move" section, which has two different search engines (by industry or by key words), and an interest profiler.)


The US Bureau of Labor's Career One Stop website also has occupations organized by the Career Clusters, and you can view short videos about the occupations in the 16 Career Clusters.


You can also research occupations at in the US Bureau of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). The OOH is similar (but not identical) in organization to Career Clusters, in that it loosely organizes the hundreds of jobs under 25 "occupational groups" (see the list going down on the lefthand side of the OOH home page).


Career Clusters Resources

Career Clusters Interest Survey -- free printable occupational interest test

I-Seek Careers -- links, resources, and info about occupations in the 16 Career Clusters

O-Net: Career Clusters -- links to info about specific occupations in the 16 Career Clusters

Career One Stop -- US Dept. of Labor website; short videos of occupations in the 16 Career Clusters

Glencoe's Exploring Careers -- student text based on career exploration through Career Clusters

Glencoe: Career Clusters -- free online exploration: brief description of each of the 70 "pathways" that branch out from the 16 clusters; links to print and internet resources for each cluster; and a graphic organizer map  showing all the "pathways" and related specific occupations under each cluster



Another resource that might be of interest or helpful is the book What Color is Your Parachute for Teens:
Part 1 discusses what the 4 different types of tests help you know about yourself for matching up with jobs.
Part 2 covers what kind of education/training you'll need for specific jobs.
Part 3 is about the job search process.


BEST of luck in planning your class and exploring careers! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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