A major part of deciding which college is the best fit is determining what you want to do. Many high school students that participate in LEAP go into the college choice process knowing jobs they think they’d like, but not how the jobs translate into majors and/or minors. Students have multiple possible interests, at times making it harder to narrow down a major. For students to make the best decision, it is suggested that they complete various career assessments. Within our programs, we use several to give students an overall view of where their interests lie and help with deciding a major.
Below you will find a few of the assessments we use with students:
1. College Foundation (www.cfnc.org) College Foundation has several helpful links for various needs. One of which is the career tab. Students find tools to develop resumes and cover letters.There are two links that are specific to the student learning about their interests and possibly associating that with certain career types. There is a section entitled Learn about Yourself. In this section, there are six career assessments that allow students to answer 10-15 minute surveys that will highlight career clusters of interests, work skill sets, and more. After completing those assessments, students can click on the career clusters and review descriptions of various careers.
2. Education Planner (www.educationplanner.org) This site has a similar career interest inventory. Students can answer 30 questions about what they like and dislike. From those answers, students can see a list of careers that match their answers.
3. Campbell Interest and Skill Survey This survey is conducted by the Counselor Education department at NC State University and not accessible online. Students answer 300 questions in this survey that has 2 parts. Part 1 focuses on interests where they rank them from strongly dislike to strongly like. Part 2 focuses on skills where students can estimate their level of skill from none to expert. From these answers, students get an assessment where careers are organized in the following sections: pursue, develop, explore, and avoid. This is a great tool because it brings out careers students might not have considered.
We like to emphasize to students the importance of doing research before selecting a major that sounds good. The tools above help students narrow down their selections by their interests. From their interests, students work with staff and NCSU LEAP mentors to determine majors that would match with their top career choices.