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Career Interests Assessment for Students

by Dr. Kelly S. Meier, studioD

Choosing a career can be a daunting task for high school and college students. Knowing what you like to do is the first step. Next, consider the classes that you like the most. Sometimes it is difficult to match these factors to a specific career choice. Taking a career interest assessment is a great way to identify potential careers and create educational goals. You can take a career interest survey by yourself or in a group. Talk to your school counselor or contact your career center to learn more about what is available.

Career Clusters

The National Career Clusters Framework is an assessment that helps students begin exploring their career interests. This tool utilizes high school and college class content to frame possible career options. If you take this assessment, you will have view 16 career areas that will provide a clearer picture of what excites you. You will also be able to begin developing a plan of study for college that will maximize your strengths and position you for success.

Strong Interest Inventory

If you seek career assistance at a college, you are likely to be offered the opportunity to take the Strong Interest Inventory. This assessment asks questions that will determine what careers interest you and how they match with your personality. The Strong Inventory also identifies potential occupations, classes and initiatives that you can pursue. Even if you think you know what you want to study in college, taking this inventory can solidify your choice or offer you some new topics to consider.


The American College Testing organization produces two tests that measure academic achievement and career interests. The ACT EXPLORE is typically administered in eighth or ninth grade and helps students consider focus areas for high school and beyond. Similarly, the ACT PLAN is administered in 10th grade and provides insight into possible academic preferences in college. Both assessments produce scores in six areas and connect data to 26 different careers. If you take both assessments, compare the results and note the similarities and differences. It is not uncommon to change your career choice throughout your academic journey.

Interest Profiler

The Interest Profiler is an assessment that is used with students in middle and high school. This assessment discovers personality traits related to career interests as well as possible job preferences. You can take this assessment in about 15 minutes and the results can be saved for future reference. The main goal of this tool is to help you narrow down potential career options and craft a plan to pursue more information about how to move forward academically. This assessment was designed by the Department of Labor.

About the Author

Dr. Kelly S. Meier is a professor and college administrator for a large public institution in Minnesota. She received her undergraduate degree from Western Illinois University and her master's degree and doctorate from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has published more than 15 books on education, group development and diversity.

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