By Karen Lomas
Careers coaching or career counselling supports the individual to make their own educated decisions, by means of discussion and learning activities. However, the role of psychometric testing continues to play a very important part of the process. The reliability and validity of these assessments are sound, so the information that is gathered is extremely helpful to both the student and recruiters.
Career assessment tools can be highly beneficial for students in Years 9 and up. For example, they can:
- help to clarify strengths, values and work style
- offer an understanding of the way personality preferences can impact behaviour and suitability to certain roles
- provide a comprehensive report, giving the student lots of information in an accessible layout
- allow the student to focus on particular strengths/interests.
Some parents may not wish for their child to have to sit more tests beyond those that are required in school. As far as I am aware, only one product in use in Australia — the Morrisby Online career assessment tool — has built-in aptitude tests. Even then, that entire section of the Morrisby Online test can be separated out and therefore not delivered to the student, leaving only the interests and preferences assessments to be completed.
Other types of aptitudes and interests assessment tools
I have been using the Morrisby Online aptitudes and interests assessment tool in my private careers coaching business for many years. I may choose to utilise other products — either the Career Fast Track or Strong Interest Inventory® tool — I decide which resource to use based on which is most appropriate for my client.
Without doubt, reliable careers assessment tools that are underpinned by the ‘science’ of psychometrics benefit career coaches in their work and the candidate, whether for a school-aged student or adult job-seeker. They support my ability to be thorough with my client — exploring their strengths, values, personality and work preferences.
Using and administering these tools allow me to offer comprehensive support for students. The tests also give the students clarity and empowerment — students all report back that they thoroughly enjoy the process.
Career aptitudes and assessment tests do work; it could be the solution that a student is seeking.
An example of career assessments in schools
The benefit of career aptitude and interests tests is evident in many jurisdictions. For example, all Year 9 students in Victorian State schools have been receiving one-on-one coaching with a professional careers practitioner and utilising the Morrisby Online career assessment tool.
This Victorian State Government initiative is proving to be enormously successful. As one of the career coaches involved in my local area, the 14-year-old students are loving their careers reports. Students can log into the platform and look at suggestions for Year 10 elective subjects and study options; Year 11 and 12 formal qualifications; study areas for post-secondary, or tertiary education and training; and career ideas.
About the author
Karen is a career coach specialising in early career exploration with school-aged students. This article is an edited excerpt of the original, which can be read here. She has also launched a podcast — learn more and listen here!