Best Career Tests and How They Can Help
Career aptitude tests help you pick a career based on your strengths, skills and personality type. Learn more about taking a career aptitude test.
Trying to identify the best career path for your future is a challenging decision. There are a wide range of jobs to choose from. Some jobs may initially seem like good fits because they appeal to your interests, but these careers might have limited advancement opportunities, or the skills do not transfer to other careers. While it may not seem important, narrowing your career options makes it easier to plan for your future, ensuring you do not have to spend years as an adult receiving additional training to try and get your dream job.
Understanding your career path also gives you an advantage during application. You can highlight the skills you know are most important for that career, and even discuss future training and certification you want to advance further. While there is no surefire way to find your dream job, there are several tools to help you focus. Many high schools and colleges recommend career tests, more commonly known as aptitude tests. These tests examine your current skills and interest to build a recommended list of career options, explaining why they are good fits for you.
How do Career Tests Work
There are a number of career tests to choose from. While the tests may focus on different areas, there are similarities among the tests. Aptitude tests use a number of multiple-choice questions to build a personality profile and make career and skill recommendations based on your answers. Unlike other tests, there are no wrong answers.
Most of the tests ask similar questions, such as your general skillset, what areas you excel in and your overall interests. The tests consider your personality traits and what is most important to you when you are working. Some tests go further, identifying what motivates you as both a student and employee and the kind of settings you thrive in.
Most aptitude tests are between 30 to 100 questions and only take a short time to complete, around 10 to 15 minutes. Many tests have both a free and paid version available, with the free version consisting of a smaller test and limited analysis. Some tests are completely free, but you must pay a fee at the end to get a detailed breakdown. Some even include additional resources or links to help you learn more about the careers the test identified for you.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
While the MBTI is not strictly used to identify careers, it is still considered one of the best job placement tests because it takes a deeper look at your personality. Many career coaches consider it an industry standard. In addition to looking at your personality, it also considers your general values, what motivates you, your best work style and how you make decisions. A free version of the test is available, but there are several paid variants available, with the standard test costing $49.95 as of writing.
My Next Move
If you want to experiment with taking a career test without paying any fees, consider My Next Move. My Next Move is not as deep as other career tests, but it is entirely free. The test was created by the U.S. Department of Labor. While the test itself may seem sparse, users are provided with a wide range of resources after the test to research specific careers. Because the data comes from the Department of Labor, it goes into greater detail than other tests, including how easy it is to get hired in certain careers and whether there is an expected spike in demand over the next five years.
Keirsey Temperament Sorter
Keirsey shares several similarities with MBTI, focusing more on personality as opposed to specific careers. It does place a greater emphasis on job placement, explaining how your personality traits relate to the recommended fields. Many of the questions focus on what motivates you the most and how you make decisions. It is also one of the tests available for a wide range of knowledge. Taking the test is free, but the detailed reports cost money. A basic report is only $24.95, while more in-depth reports cost up to $59.95.
If you want the most comprehensive career test, career fitter is an excellent option. Career Fitter has a greater emphasis on workplace skills and setting. During the breakdown, it explains overall job responsibilities, identifies possible promotions and details which skills are most important to employers. It even includes recommendations for education and certification to get started in your career. There is more detailed information, such as the average salary for your career. It also includes sections on what leadership style is best for your personality and the type of workplaces you do best in.
The test consists of 60 questions. There is a free and premium version, which costs $29.95. The questions are the same for both tests, but you get a much greater explanation at the end of the test if you purchase the premium version. This includes team-building approaches, advice for how to advance in your career and an explanation of your personality chart.
Another comprehensive career aptitude test is Truity. Truity is one of the longer tests, with nearly 100 questions. The questions are divided into several categories, examining different aspects of your personality to determine what motivates you and your general skill set. With so many questions, it is one of the longer options, taking between 20 to 30 minutes to complete on average.
Truity has both a free and premium test. All of the questions are the same, and the free test still provides a fairly detailed breakdown. The premium version, which costs $19 contains a more detailed report, including advice for staying motivated at work, how to advance and the best ways to improve on your weaknesses.
The Princeton Review aptitude test uses a unique format. Instead of the traditional list of questions, it uses an interactive format. All of the questions are presented with alternative choices. Based on what you choose, the test generates different questions. At the end of the test, it provides an overview of your career fields and an explanation on what answers generated the results. Another reason the test is popular is because both the test and results are completely free to view.