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How to explore possible career/major fits?

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Curriculum Resources
Everything Career Tests Book (secular) and student packet resources from Rod & Staff (Christian); the book has 10 different tests; the packet walks the student through the book
- Glencoe: Exploring Careers -- student workbook and student textbook
Career Exploration for Homeschool Students (Topp)
What Color is Your Parachute for Teens (Christen)
Do What You Are (Tieger)
DK: Careers

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 interest inventories are based on, or are variations on, the 6 work interest areas of the Holland Codes
O-Net: My Next Move Interest Profiler: free online test
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

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


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 types of 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 free online interest inventory, and lets you explore various careers.  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.).

If you also end up using Career Clusters model (see below), 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

Edited by Lori D.
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