Career Self-Assessment & Exploration
Discover Your Passion
Deciding what major or career to pursue can be difficult, so we encourage you to take a moment or two, think about these questions, and focus on what will ultimately make you happy.
• What courses and topics spark your interest?
• What social causes and activities are you passionate about?
• What talents and skills come naturally to you?
• What three adjectives would your friends use to describe your personality?
• What can you see yourself doing in five or ten years?
The process of self-assessment can help you to identify majors or careers that suit your interests, skills, personality traits, and work values. You may do this informally by talking with academic and career advisors, professors, family members, and friends.
Meet with a career advisor to determine which of the following tools is right for you and to later discuss your results.
Focus (Computer System for Career Education Planning)
With the eight phases of FOCUS you can assess your interests/values/skills, explore occupations, plan your career, select the right college major, and search for jobs, graduate schools, internships, and financial aid. You are in charge of how extensive the program will be used. You may choose to go through the entire program step by step or choose only the steps you see beneficial.
Focus is appropriate for undergraduate and graduate students, and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete online.
The Strong Interest Inventory (Strong)
The Strong assesses your interests among a broad range of occupations, work and leisure activities, and academic subjects. The Strong Interest Inventory is a carefully constructed questionnaire that inquires about a respondent's level of interest in a wide range of familiar items (i.e., words or short phrases describing occupations, occupational activities, hobbies, leisure activities, school subjects, and types of people). For each of the 317 items, the respondent is asked to indicate his or her preferences from among three response categories on an answer sheet. The answers are then analyzed by computer to derive scores on measures of interest type, called scales. The results are printed on a report called a Profile, which presents the scale scores in an organized format and offers interpretive information.
The Strong is appropriate for undergraduate and graduate students, and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete online.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The MBTI can help you to identify which of the sixteen different personality types best describes you. It also highlights some of your strengths and weaknesses and suggests occupations that may satisfy you. The MBTI assessment can be completed on the computer. Results indicate preferences only, or how strong you “voted” one way. The results can be applied to family interactions and relationships, choosing majors/careers, team building and leadership styles, and self-understanding and acceptance.
The MBTI is appropriate for undergraduate and graduate students, and takes approximately 25 minutes to complete online.
The Self-Directed Search (SDS)
The SDS suggests areas of study and occupations that match your interests by analyzing your daydreams, activities, abilities, and occupations. Your personality type will be revealed by completing this assessment tool. You will also be able to determine which careers best suit your personality type (based on the combination of your interests, skills, and abilities). You are given a three-letter code, which is based on your responses. You can view a list of occupations and educational fields that match your assigned code by using the Occupational Finder and the Educational Opportunities Finder booklets
The SDS is appropriate for freshmen and sophomores, and takes approximately 25 minutes to complete.
What Happens Next
After completing the assessments: Completing these assessments will not make decisions for you. It is up to you to make decisions regarding your choice of major. In conjunction with using one or more of these assessments, we recommend you take time to do further research in order to make informed decisions regarding your choice of major/career. Based on your interests, skills, and abilities, you will need to research specific occupations and decide which career path is the best for you. We will guide you through the process, but it is ultimately up to you to make these final decisions.
Explore Your Options
If you are conflicted about your major or career, research your options and determine whether or not they match your interests, skills, personality traits, and work values.
Use the resources below to obtain information about industries, occupations, employers, salary ranges, employment trends, educational requirements, and related topics:
• Your contacts. Gather information through informational interviewing and networking.
• Career Center events and programs.
• Hundreds of books, binders and periodicals available in the Career Center Library.
• Online publications and lists such as the Occupational Outlook Handbook and Fortune's 100 Best Companies To Work For.
• Web sites such as O*Net Online.