Are High School Career Aptitude Tests a Good Predictor of Work Happiness?

School counselors help students thrive in their current education and future careers. They love to connect with students and make an impact on their lives. Over the years, the demand for school counselors has not only increased, but the demand for additional support has as well. School counselor requirements include having a bevy of resources to help students figure out their career path. One of the resources counselors use to determine possible career paths is career aptitude testing.

Most commonly taken in high school, career aptitude tests help assess a student’s strengths and skills that will translate into their ideal career path. School counselors use this in their career as a foundation to work with students. By using a career aptitude test, school counselors can help determine the right extracurricular activities and curriculum that is perfectly tailored for their students.

What Kinds of Tests are Available?

There are multiple career aptitude tests that school counselors can use to their benefit. There are skills career tests that evaluate a student’s readily available skills, and there are pymetric tests that use a series of simple (yet surprisingly challenging) mind games to measure different cognitive and social traits. Furthermore, there are personality tests to help determine what industries and roles you will find the most fulfilling. For school counselors, it is important to use more than one test to achieve a holistic perspective of a student’s career path.

Some common career aptitude tests include:

  • Myers-Briggs Personality Test
  • Self-Directed Search
  • MyPlan
  • Pymetrics
  • The MAPP Career Assessment

What Do These Tests Measure?

Career aptitude tests measure one’s reaction to situations and accomplished tasks in his or her daily life. A career assessment quiz includes questions about the individual's hobbies, talents, interests and overall personality. Most importantly, they also help highlight someone’s strengths and weaknesses. After taking a career assessment quiz, the student should come away learning more about themselves, and the school counselor should ultimately be able to connect the dots and help design a post-high school roadmap.

Career Aptitude Tests and the Results

Aptitude assessments provide school counselors with the information needed to help students make future educational and career path decisions. It presents an opportunity to help students think about options that were not previously considered and gives them a true sense of what they are currently capable of doing. For school counselors, this is another resource or tool that they can use to build customized plans for students. Using these assessments, in addition to examining grade point averages, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities, can help identify a student’s true potential.

As the student’s advocate, school counselors must be able to manage students’ expectations of what a career assessment will and won't do. A career finder quiz isn’t going to exactly lead to a dream job, but it will give students a better understanding of their skills and strengths and how they can apply them.

Starting career aptitude tests at the beginning of high school can help school counselors identify growth in students, changes in personality and skills, and can help with the consistency of building a plan that fits the student. Advantages to using a career test as a school counselor include:

  • Being able to complete a student’s portfolio and strengthen recommendations for a student’s curriculum.
  • Helping staff and administration structure programs and curriculum that leverage individual student’s strengths.
  • Encouraging and motivating the student upon learning about his/her strengths.
  • A new reinvigoration can change the student’s attitude about their path and education and help them explore other coursework they otherwise wouldn’t have considered.

Career assessment tests are just one piece of a larger puzzle that outlines a student’s educational career. They are not conclusive and no one major decision, such as career, should solely depend on the results of these tests. In a work environment, having a strong understanding of your skills can help direct students to the right careers that they will view as fulfilling. Ultimately, this fulfillment will help improve work happiness.

Your career as a school counselor will give you an opportunity to work with students throughout various stages in their academic pursuit. Due to the flexibility of the role, school counselors, especially those with a Master's in School Counseling online, can help early education or high school students be successful in their current pursuits and in future endeavors.