Personal Assessments and Career Research
The most successful people know themselves well and capitalize on their strengths in the work that they do. This is a lifelong process of discovery best started early! Take assessments, learn about career options and try some career related activities!
Take personal assessments to learn more about how your personal qualities, values, and strengths pair with careers.
Careerwise is an extensive tool from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU) with personal assessments tied to career information that is specific to Minnesota.
GPS Life Plan is another tool from MNSCU with many links to assessments and career information.
Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator is a great tool to better understand yourself and your preferences. The 16 Personalities website does a great job of tying the types to career options.
My Next Move is an assessment connected with O*Net, a tool from the US Department of Labor. It asks you to rate how much you’d like to perform different tasks.
My Plan has a values assessment that is different than the other tools because it helps you consider what’s important to you and what you believe about work.
My Majors has assessments that help you create a profile based on your academic aptitude and interests. You are matched with majors and careers that fit you!
Once you have some ideas about possible careers, learn more about them. What kind of education does the career require? What is the average wage? How quickly is the field expected to grow?
Many of the tools above are linked to career information. Below are three of the best sources of career information:
The Occupational Outlook Handbook contains data from the US Department of Labor and has extensive profiles of hundreds of careers.
O*Net is also a US Department of Labor tool that allows you to sort careers by skills and career clusters.
LinkedIn has an alumni tool that students can use if you create a LinkedIn profile. The tool allows you to search by college and career area and look at the profiles of people who have careers that interest you. Where did they go to school? What did they study? What was their career path?
Enrichment and Career Exploration:
As a high school student, you can try out careers that interest you. Do an informational interview or job shadow, attend a camp, volunteer, take a class. All of these activities will help you know if the potential career is really a fit for you.
Explore academic interests by taking an online class. Many of the top universities in the country offer Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). These courses are usually free or if you want a certificate of completion, you can pay a small fee. Two great options are www.coursera.org and www.edx.org.
Try a career focused camp or pre-college program. Teen Life is a website with thousands of summer and school year enrichment programs that can be sorted by interest or location.
Volunteering is a great way to explore your interests and learn more about possible careers. Volunteer Match is a great way to learn about opportunities in your local area that match your interests.
Do Something is a website to help young people start their own project to support a cause.
Some great local career exploration programs include:
Minnesota Business Venture, a week-long business camp for high school students.
Scrubs Camp is a week-long camp for students considering health care careers.
Doing Informational Interviews and Job Shadowing are also great ways to explore careers. Talk to your parents, your parents’ friends, and the parents of your friends to find these opportunities.
This is a website with virtual job shadowing interviews to get you started: www.jobshadow.com. The following websites have tips for informational interviewing and job shadowing: