When I was in 10th grade, 20 students in my class wanted to be engineers, 13 wanted to be doctor, 5 wanted to be actor, 4 wanted to be a teacher and there were some 10 or 12 students who had not formed a decision. However, this list is missing two guys, one wanted to be a politician and the other wanted to be a superhero (surprisingly, most of us found it more difficult to believe the prior).
Now, let’s look at what are these people doing today: 8 people are engineers, 6 are doctors, nobody became actor, there are 10 teachers, there are many working in sales and marketing, 3 students became entrepreneurs and one is a mountaineer. I know you must be curious about those 2 guys, well they almost reached their dreams, one is a political science professor and the other fellow is into animation and he gets to create superheroes occasionally. Wondering why am I telling you this?
The above observation puts light on how career paths may tend to change over a period of time. There are very few people in the above-mentioned group who are completely happy with their profession. But, what happened to them, why did they end up doing something so different from what they had decided? It’s because some of them couldn’t find the right career path leading towards their dreams and some of them realized after some time that what they had always wanted to be, was not something that will make them happy.
This is not just the story of my classmates, you go to any school and you’ll find the same story. If you find it hard to believe, you can do a little survey yourself, just ask 10 to 20 people who you know are working somewhere and ask them what they wanted to be and you’ll see that many people end up doing something that they didn’t dream of in the beginning.
However, today’s students can change this story with the help of a simple career assessment test. Although the assessment test has got a huge acceptance in developed countries, there is a bit of ambiguity regarding this in India. I get a lot of queries from parents and teachers regarding what this test is and how effective it is. In this article, I’ll try to answer all these queries.
What is a Career Assessment Test?
Career Selection is a long and complicated process. We can’t possibly expect that a parrot will come out of a box and choose a career for us. Finding the right career involves some crucial milestones that everybody has to meet. The most important goal of career assessment is to know about various career options in-depth. It helps you to know yourself – your strengths, weaknesses, aptitude, perception, passion, interests and ambitions which should be taken into account while selecting a career. The career assessment test helps you in gaining this self-knowledge.
The career assessment tool is designed by psychologists to help people understand themselves better. This test generally comprises of a series of multiple-choice questions. Sometimes, it might also require answers to subjective type questions. There is no pass and fail criteria in this test. This is just a tool that evaluates you on certain parameters like interests, values, personality traits, skills, and aptitude.
The answers you give in the test are evaluated on these parameters and then it is matched with the requirements of prospective careers. In short, a career assessment test helps you assess yourself so that you can find careers that are best for yourself. It’s the first step towards effective Career Planning as the Career Assessment test plays a 30 – 40% role in the process. The results of these tests help the counselor to give the right guidance as it helps them to understand you.
Is a Career Assessment Test really effective?
This is the most common question asked by the parents. I always give the analogy of golf to help them understand the importance of a career assessment test. The career selection process is like playing golf, the hole is your destination and you have to reach there in few consecutive shots. The green patches are favorable grounds, that means a surrounding that helps you reach your aim and the sand patches are unfavorable grounds or things that hamper your growth towards your dream.
To draw this analogy forward, you’ll have to make sure that you always land in green patches. In your career assessment process, these green patches are the fields that are conducive to your growth. Career assessment helps you find these green patches in your life so that you can strategically reach your goal. In today’s competitive world, having a strategy is of vital importance. It takes a well-defined strategy and determination to reach your destination.
Knowing your strengths gives you a confident approach towards your dream and on the other hand, knowing your weaknesses helps you avoid or reduce them strategically so that you have the least resistance in achieving your goals.
When is the right time to take the Career Assessment Test?
Whenever parents and students ask me this question, I tell them that it is the wrong question, the right question is, “how often should I take this test”? Change is the only constant in nature and our skills and mindset change with time. Career assessment evaluates you based on your present aptitude and skills and hence, it is recommended to go for these tests periodically.
Many educationists believe that the best time to go for career assessment is every time you reach an important milestone in your career path. It is always good to start early; career assessment tests are available for all age groups. However, the effectiveness of career assessment conducted before 8th grade are not very effective because the kids in that age lack self-concept.
The ideal time to go for your first assessment test is when you reach the 10th standard or after your 10th standard examination. You have to take a lot of important career decisions after the 10th standard. A Career assessment test gives you an idea about your probable best-suited career and hence enables you to make the right career decisions in the 11th and 12th standards.
Although the career assessment test after 10th can tell you about the best-suited career options, it is advised to go for another career assessment test when you reach 12th or after giving the 12th examination. This way you can assess the change in your skills and aptitude and then take a strategic step towards your dreams.
What should you look for in a Career Assessment Test?
This is a very important question. Before we go for a career assessment test, we should look at a few important things to make sure that we get the most accurate results.
- The first most important thing to look for is age relevance. Career assessment tests are available for various age groups. Even big MNCs conduct a similar kind of test on their employees to know what work they can be most productive in. If a 10th standard kid answers the career assessment test made for employees of these MNCs the assessment won’t be relevant at all. So, it is very important to check whether the test is age-appropriate for the student.
- The second important thing is the place of the relevance of the test. This again is a very important thing, most of the career assessment tests used in India have been created for the kids in Western countries. Due to this fact, the accuracy of the test goes down significantly. You should find the career assessment tests that are made specifically for Indian students.
- Another important thing to look for is the language compatibility. It is very important that the students understand all the questions clearly so that they can give the most accurate answers.
(Note: iDC’s Career Assessment test is available in English, Hindi, Marathi, and Kannada language. It has been used by 47,000 high school students to date and counting. 21 renowned career counselors recommend our assessment test to high school students. Call us @011 – 46011340 to know more.)
I believe this article will give you a clear understanding of career assessment tests and help you create a good strategy for your dream career. Remember that a good career not only pays you good but also makes you happy in your life.
The iDC Editorial Team brings in a collective work experience of more than 25 years in diverse fields spanning from career counselling, management consulting, engineering, and technology to science, finance, and humanities. The team’s key competencies are in research and analysis of careers, jobs, and industries. The team boasts a few best-in-class writers on careers and education.