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Monday, May 18, 2009

Using Your Students’ Interests to Guide Them to a Career Path

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As you already know, guiding your students along the right career path is easier said than done. There are plenty of free career assessments online that students can take. Yet you get what you pay for. Many of those free assessments are not backed by sufficient research to guide your students in the proper direction. The majority of students are already confused about what career path they should take, so counselors must exercise caution with the assessments they offer as many students will believe the first thing they see.

One of the most respected and widely used of career assessment tools is the Strong Interest Inventory® assessment. The occupations have been updated several times in the past 80 years to reflect the most current occupations. The Strong has provided research-validated and time-tested insights to thousands in their quest for finding a fulfilling career path.

Here is why:
  1. By discovering their true interests, students are then able to expand and explore various career options or specific college majors with this knowledge – and of course with your guidance.
  2. When students take the assessment, their interests are related to interest patterns of workers who are satisfied with their work within an occupation.
  3. Students are given a description of their preferred style of working, learning, leading, risk taking, and team participation to help them learn more about themselves.
  4. The assessment’s norm group is representative of ethnic, racial, and demographic workforce diversity.

There is a misconception that when presented with a list of possible occupations, students will feel forced to choose only amongst those. Yet with a proper interpretation, counselors can utilize the results by bringing out the student’s individual skills such as Critical Thinking, Service Orientation, Coordination, Writing, and Speaking, and applying them to a career path the student may be undecided about.

If you are not sure where to start, here are some suggested materials we recommend:

  1. Strong Profile

  2. Strong Profile, College Edition

  3. Strong Interest Inventory® Manual

  4. Strong User’s Guide

  5. Strong College Profile User’s Guide

  6. Where do I go Next?
In order to purchase or administer the Strong assessment, you must be certified. You do not need to be certified to purchase any of the support materials. If you are uncertain as to whether or not you are certified, you may always contact us to find out (800.624.1765). G/S Consultants offers certification programs, and they also offer a convenient online certification program. To learn more about this, please visit

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