Some independent educational consultants specialize in interest, personality and career assessments. Many students just don’t know where to start in picking a major or exploring careers. The most respected website to check out is O*Net.gov. A thorough career assessment with a qualified counselor can be very helpful.
There are some common myths about career assessments that should be debunked. Let’s consider some that we often hear:
Myth #1. “I already know what I want to be/major in.”
If you really do know what you want to do/be/major in, then a professional assessment will reinforce those decisions. Also, under the guidance of a trained counselor, you’ll
- *expand your understanding of your strengths
- *broaden your view of occupations and how to prepare for them
- *receive realistic, unbiased feedback
Myth #2. “Career assessments never tell me anything I didn’t already know.”
Many students take the assessment, read the results once, agree or disagree, and set that information aside forever. The assessment is a tool that requires skill to use effectively! A counselor trained in those skills will help you mine the treasure of information that you can use over and over again in your life.
Myth #3. “I’m just going to take general education courses the first couple of years so it doesn’t matter.”
By all means, embrace those general eds! They are the foundation of your lifelong education! AND, when you participate in a class knowing more about yourself, your learning takes on a new dimension, particularly as it relates to your future career.
Myth #4. “I already know what my strengths are.”
A career counselor guides you in refining what you know generally. With a coach, you can explore in more depth the options and opportunities that your talents and interests provide, particularly in how you might plan for careers of the future. A coach can help you look at all facets of your personality and talents and discover things that you may not have recognized. I good coach will always be encouraging, not limiting.
Myth #5. “I’ll get a better idea of my career once I start college.”
Yes, you will! And, you will better manage and utilize this knowledge if you explore it earlier than your first year of college. Choices about majors, careers, and colleges become very expensive if you’re testing them for the first time while paying hefty college tuition bills.
For most people, the task of career exploration will not end with high school graduation nor with college graduation. The tools of career assessment can aid you in your career exploration and decisions throughout your lifetime.