Online Career Advisors: Getting Good Data
If you are searching for career advice, there are certainly a ton of great resources online. These resources can help you research careers, find the right degree program, write a winning resume, provide you with excellent interviewing tips, etc. Some of our favorite sites include:
- CollegeBoard: https://www.collegeboard.org/
- CareerOneStop: http://www.careeronestop.org/
- O*NET Online: http://www.onetonline.org/
However, if you are searching for some individual help through online career advisors, you need to be more careful where you look. There are many so called "career tests" out there that claim to help find the perfect career for you. Some are free, some are not. Some ask 10 questions and some ask 200. So how do you begin to choose one that can actually help you make this tough decision?
First, you should realize that there is no test out there that will provide you with an easy answer. Online career advisors are there to help you find out more about yourself (your talents and interests) and provide you with the right resources to explore careers, NOT choose one for you. A test that provides you with one career option/match following a series of questions is likely a very good test. Those tests that ask you ten random questions and magically provide you with your ideal career are not valid tests. Sure, they are fun, but don't provide you with any real data.
To get data that is helpful from a career test, it should meet certain statistical criteria (reliability and validity). Therefore, you need to make sure the test was developed by a professional, typically a professional with a degree in I/O Psychology that understands test development. A couple well-known tests that are commonly used to assess career interests are the Strong Interest Inventory and the Campbell Interest and Skill Survey. While these tests can certainly be helpful in your search, they lack a couple of criteria we find just as important.
- A measure of ABILITY, what people are actually good at
- An up-to-date listing of all the occupational titles available
If you are looking for an affordable online career advisor, you should check out www.OccupationProfessor.com. You can take our career test, designed by a Ph.D. level psychologist, and then take advantage of our unique system for finding and exploring the right career fit for you.
POSTED: 7-12-2015 at 2:51 PM (EDT)