Are career tests helpful?

I remember when I was in college - I had a class that required me to purchase a book which offered a career test. At that time, I had thought it was a waist of time. I figure - why in the world would I want to take a class which makes me take a test to see what career would best suit me. Well, over 10 years later I can now say that career tests can not only be fun, but they can also be very helpful.

The goal of a career test is to find out a career you may excel out without asking you about any specific career. It will ask you question which seem to have no relevance but then the sum of those answers will lead the career test to some conclusion.

For example, the career test may ask you many questions to determine if a career in finance and accounting is good for you. Some of these questions may be:

Do you enjoy spending quality and relaxing time by yourself?

Do you enjoy doing math problems and other number related tasks?

Do you enjoy solving puzzles?

Do you have an interest in money and spending habits?

While none of these questions specifically have something to do with a career in finance or accounting; answering yes to all of these questions could mean that you have a personality that is well suited for one of those respective careers. On the same token , if you don't enjoy math and number related tasks; then you probably aren't going to have fun in finance.

Career tests can get much more detail oriented and ask deep question which seem to have nothing to do with a career. But a good career test can analyze these answers to determine what direction your career should take.

In summary, I don't think a career test should ever be the end all be all to tell one which direction to take a career. However, it can be used as a supplemental guide to help aide one in their decision making process. For instance, if you are 50/50 on deciding between becoming a teacher or becoming a nurse; you may be surprised at which direction a quality career test will lead you.

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