Do Career Orientation Tests Actually Help Students to Decide on a Profession?
Deciding upon a career path can be complicated, especially at a younger age, when opportunities and possibilities are so numerous that choosing just one may become difficult. One way of solving this is a career guidance test, which is supposed to help choose a future profession. It is hard to overstate the importance of a career guidance test for a young person, as it may help guide them towards a career path that they will both excel at and enjoy, making it necessary to explore career counseling in detail.
Career counseling generally occurs within the confines of a school. School counselors help children of various age groups decide on their future careers by carefully assessing their abilities through self-assessment techniques (Osborn and Baggerly 46). These can help determine interests, personality traits, and aptitudes, which in turn makes it easier to understand what career path a student should pursue and how it would align with their character and personality. Knowing these specific dimensions is essential when it comes to a future career, as their misalignment with the chosen career can lead to dissatisfaction and decreased work engagement. All in all, career counseling and assessment tend to take place in school environments under the supervision of school career counselors; self-assessment techniques utilized in career counseling and testing are necessary in order to develop a proper understanding of the important character traits that make certain career paths more suitable than others.
Career testing is not, however, a practice that is suitable for everyone. Intellectually gifted students are considered to be a challenge for school career guidance counselors, as their “multipotentiality” makes it difficult to assess them and provide guidance towards a specific career path (Kerr and Sodano 169). In short, career tests are designed to fit a more general population and do not account for gifted students, making their utility limited in certain cases.
Career testing and counseling is used by different types of people, which is also worthy of note. Rochlen et al. (264) emphasize the previously established concept that there are at least four types of career counseling clients, with each having a specific issue with their career path, ranging from identity problems to career dissatisfaction, or a mix of the two. The authors conducted surveys with the help of 900 students from southwestern universities: career-related uncertainty and emotional distress were the issues among two clusters of career counseling clients, affecting the majority of the clients surveyed (Rochlen et al. 271). The outcomes of career counseling differed depending on the relative levels of distress. The sampling is acknowledged to be limited, with more research required before drawing definite conclusions. All in all, career counseling is pursued by people with higher levels of work-related distress and career uncertainty, as well as identity problems and career dissatisfaction.
In conclusion, career orientation testing can be useful to students in helping decide on their future career by utilizing self-assessment techniques that can help them determine their traits, interests, and personality. However, these tests are not suited for everyone due to their limitations and generalized approach. Students and career counseling clients who resort to career counseling tend to be grouped in several clusters of people dissatisfied with their career, have identity issues or higher career uncertainty, as well as work-related emotional distress.
Kerr, Barbara, and Sandro Sodano. “Career Assessment with Intellectually Gifted Students.” Journal of Career Assessment, vol. 11, no. 2, May 2003, pp. 168–186.
Osborn, Debra S., and Jennifer N. Baggerly. “School Counselors’ Perceptions of Career Counseling and Career Testing: Preferences, Priorities, and Predictors.” Journal of Career Development, vol. 31, no. 2, Fall 2004, pp. 45-59.
Rochlen, Aaron B., Milburn, Lynne, and Clara E. Hill. “Examining the Process and Outcome of Career Counseling for Different Types of Career Counseling Clients.” Journal of Career Development, vol. 30, no. 4, Summer 2004, pp. 263–275.
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