Career assessments, simply put, are a set of tests, tools, or analyses that help a student understand how multiple traits like those of choices, likes & dislikes, personality, et cetera determine possible success and satisfaction with different career options, and varied work environments. The beauty of career assessments, is, that there are no right or wrong answers, there are just answers that sync best with you.
Before, we go on to understand how career assessments work, it’s important to first know how students today approach career decisions.
Broadly, there are two prominent trends as to how students make their career choices.
They identify their ‘interest’ and set off in that chosen path.
They choose what’s popular and what their friends are going to do.
Both of these approaches raise more questions than they answer, as both of them do not take into consideration critical elements which influence career decisions in big ways.
The underlying process in career assessments, is quite simple actually. Career assessments lay down all the possible elements one needs to consider to make a career decision, in front of students, who are now required to select a response that most resonates with them.
Thus, a student keeps streamlining towards their best-fit career, with the progression of the assessment, essentially making it easier for students to decipher their true interest and match it to other critical elements – skill, aptitude, personality et al, required to take an informed career decision.
The inclusions of a career assessment vary from product to product, and company to company. While there are some assessments which make use of obsolete techniques and parameters, there are some which are trying to bring about a pragmatic change to career testing and assessments. There are a couple of elements that are coherent to all assessments – Interest, Aptitude & Personality. It’s the approach to test, and additional elements being tested that make all the difference.
While some assessments simply ask the student to list their interest areas, and mark their personality traits, there are some that approach questions with situations and psychometric tools that are more scientific, advanced and progressive.
Mindler’s proprietary 5-D assessment bases a student’s career decision on an exhaustive analysis of basic orientation, interest, personality, battery of aptitudes and emotional & social intelligence. It is the only assessment so far, to have included a section on emotional & social intelligence, and gone as far as determining motivators for an individual.
The end result of a career assessment is clarity. Career assessments not only help you choose what career or stream is most suitable for you, but also promote understanding of self. The testing elements in a career assessment are designed to capture your core – your style, your personality, your aptitudes and more. Thus you have a better understanding of who you are as a person and your strengths and weaknesses, when you go through the analyses and the report. This directly contributes to fitment towards one or more careers.
This sort of introspection is a requisite for making career decisions at hand, or those that might in the future. Mindler’s comprehensive 37 page career discovery report analyses each of the testing element in detail, which includes description of the parameter tested, your performance on that element, expert analysis of your performance, and development plans to improve on a particular element. The report is complete with analysis on a total of 56 elements, which includes 4 styles, 20 interest areas, 15 personality traits, 10 aptitudes and 7 emotional & social intelligence factors.
Career assessments are designed to help a student discover their innate traits, skills, and talents. A self-assessment, by the student can be particularly helpful for understand their strengths, and areas of development, and finalizing on their career.
The biggest benefit is, of course, better understanding of one’s career needs and possibilities based on who they actually are, and discovering all the alternatives that could work for them. When coupled with professional counsel, career assessments could very well help one draft a roadmap for their entire career.
Many students today wonder, if not this, then what? Career assessments not only help a student make the right career call, they also provide the answer to what other domains you can go in, if not a particular one. Thus, at all times, a student has the flexibility of moving from one career domain to the other, if need be.
Additionally, career assessments also enable life-skills development for students. Mindler’s world-class assessment comes complete with development plans for building critical life skills like decision-making, teamwork, et cetera.
Career assessments, formerly known as aptitude tests and interest tests have been prevalent for quite some time now. However, the newest rage is that of the online ones. Online career assessments provide the ease of accessibility, for a student may access them through their phone, tablet or a computer, anytime of the day or night, as compared to a pen-and-paper test, which can only be written in the presence of a counsellor.
Online assessments, like the Mindler Career Assessment, provide access to analyses, reports, counsellors, mentors etc. through a single dashboard, which cannot happen with a pen-and-paper test, used by many counsellors even today.
Online assessments provide the administrator the possibility of examining how a student took the assessment by measuring answering time for each question, thus ensuring that the assessment has been attempted properly. There are many checks that can be put in the assessment, which can measure the alignment of testing elements, which cannot be the case with pen-and-paper assessments. What if the student marks all A’s, or doesn’t spend enough time reading questions? It’s a direct hit on a counsellor’s efficiency to map the right career for a student.
There is no select time to take a career assessment. It’s always better to get rid of your confusion at the earliest. Though this is an age where students as young as those in class 6th are paranoid, thinking of what they would do when they grow up, we at Mindler, administer our career assessment only to students of class 8th onwards.
Though there is no compulsion, but we do suggest a career assessment to be taken at three crucial junctions, for an effective and hassle-free career progression.
While making a stream choice
While making a career choice
While deciding what to pursue for specializations (post-graduation studies)
Taking a career assessment is one of the easiest ways out of a career dilemma. Be it a confusion about which stream to take after class 10th, or what career to pursue after 12th, career assessments have an answer. It is due to this flexibility that, students right from class 8th onwards can take these assessments. Here’s how career assessments come in handy for different career needs
Class 8th – 10th Students
The biggest concern this set of students have is, about selecting the right stream in class 11th. Career assessments can help students figure out which stream and subject combinations align with their ambitions.
Class 10th – 12th Students
Students who are confused with respect to the career they should pursue, can make use of career assessments to know for sure. Some assessments suggest different careers that a student can venture into. Mindler Career Assessment, for example, suggests 5 best-fit career matches, that a student is more likely to succeed in, thus providing a primary career option, a secondary one, and three other backups.
Undergraduate College Students
If you think career confusion takes a back seat when a student gets through to college, you are wrong. College brings another level of confusion, whether to pursue masters immediately, or work. What to specialize in? Which college to do it from? These are some of the questions that college students think about. A good career assessment, coupled with a little bit of research and/or counselling can do the trick here, and help students formulate their own action plan.
The reliability of a particular assessment is a factor of how credible the research behind it is. Another element that impacts the reliability of the assessment and accuracy of the matches is the context for which it is built. Skills, perceptions, motivations, aptitudes and traits vary from person to person, and widely fluctuate across cultures, geographies and demographies. It is thus obvious that a good career assessment should capture the testing elements for all students in a standardized manner.
The third thing that affects reliability is the people behind the assessment. The professional background of the team that has created the assessment, and is going to counsel you/ your child is extremely important.
Mindler is powered by the World’s Largest Research on Modern Career Avenues, and is recognized by global bodies like National Career Development Association (NCDA), USA and Asia Pacific Career Development Association (APCDA), Taiwan. Mindler is also the winner of Economic Times - Power of Ideas 2016, and is acknowledged by Centre for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship – IIM Ahmedabad and Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.
Mindler is run by a team comprising of alumni from ISB, Harvard, IIT and some of the leading psychologists across the country. Our assessment tool and research was executed by a team of over 25 PHDs, and our board of advisors include industry experts, academicians and career experts from across the globe.
Career assessments are a guide to introspection, analysis and planning your own career. However, if the conclusions are not interpreted correctly, and accurately, you could end up making the wrong career choice. It is exactly here, that you would need to get in touch with a career counsellor to explore various career possibilities that arise from your career assessment.
Find all that you need to know about career counselling here.