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chocolate-chip chooky

Programs and quizzes for career ideas

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@Garga Was it you who recently had a thread about programs to find ideas for suitable careers and courses? I've hunted and I can't find it.

If it was you, did you come up with anything that was actually useful?

If it wasn't you,¬†sorry for luring you here¬†ūüė∂


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Reprinting below one of my past responses with lots of links to resources  --  also, more threads on career exploration are linked at the bottom of PAGE 6 of the big pinned thread "College Motherlode" on the College Board. Happy exploring!

Career Exploration programs or curricula:
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
   (used versions are cheap -- don't know if they require an online key code  to access the website resources...)
K-12: Career-Ready Lesson Plans for grades 6-12
What Color Is Your Parachute for Teens -- book

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:
Wikipedia article explains the Holland Codes and lists lots of job ideas under each of the six interest areas
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+ specific "educational 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. It's a monster of a database website, so I usually recommend saving that one for later, so as to not get overwhelmed.

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).


Just my experience with doing career tests and career exploration with teens in the local homeschool group, but the younger the student, the less accurate tests seem to be -- most likely because teens just haven't had enough experience in the world of work, and time to get to know who they developing to *be* as individuals, to get really accurate test results.

I do see that doing career assessments in conjunction with other types of career exploration, job shadowing, career events, etc., can help teens at least rule out areas they are not at all interested in, or expose them to occupations they may never have otherwise known about to consider. Your student also might have more luck in exploring occupations directly, rather than doing career testing:
   Occupational Outlook Handbook - explore dozens of specific jobs listed under the 25 "occupational groups"
   Career Clusters - explore 70 "pathways" (occupation areas) and 100s of "intersections" (jobs) listed under the 12 "clusters"
   CA Career Zone - explore dozens of specific jobs listed under the 15 "industry sectors"

Here are a few other career assessments for high school students:
ASVAB for Career Exploration (NOT to be confused with the Military entrance ASVAB test) (I *think* this one is free, if you can find a school administering it)
Kuder Navigator (secular; for-a-fee package of 3 tests + planning tools) -- I did an early version of this test (now "out of print") with teens some years back
You Science (recommended by a WTMer; for-a-fee, looks to be for adults, but with an educators option for teens)
Crown Direct (Christian personal finance organization, but also offers for-a-fee career assessment testing, mostly for adults but I have read of WTM high school seniors using their testing)

Edited by Lori D.
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