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Best free or cheap career tests?

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I have gone on and on before about it, but if you google reviews of it, you'll find plenty of people agreeing with me.  It looks at preferences, aptitudes and interests and spits out very specific recommendations with a lot of detail about the job, what it takes to do the job and why it was recommended.  It's about $25 or $30.

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Copy-pasting from a previous post of mine -- all of the links for the career tests are to FREE online tests; don't know how many of the links are still active, but this should give you a starting point for deciding what might be the best way to go at it. (ETA: Just checked all the links and as of today (5-16-18), all links are good to go.)

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 -- most of these tests are based on, or are variations on, the 6 work interest areas of the Holland Codes (examples: Campbell Interest & Skill Survey; Strong Interest Inventory)
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 or value to you in life and is important to you in your place of work
- Monster (job search website): Work Values Checklist -- values divided into 3 categories: intrinsic, extrinsic and lifestyle
Univ. of Notre Dame: Work Values Inventory: free printable test
- DePaul University: Career Values Self-Assessment: free printable test
- Goodwin College: Work Values Assessment: 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

Career One Stop also has 2 free interest assessments (although I think they are more effective for slightly older young adults) -- the 30 question mini version, and the longer version.

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