Career Exploration – Free Career Exploration Resources
By Pat Shepherd.
Career development is a lifelong process. Most career practitioners have access to a limited number of career exploration assessments. Moreover, for most not-for-profit career services, the time and cost of administering a full battery of tests is prohibitive.
CPC Mastermind Pat Shepherd offers a curated list of free online assessment resources for career counsellors and their self-motivated clients.
In the past, career exploration was used primarily during secondary or post-secondary education. The goal was to guide and assist students in making initial choices when preparing to enter the work world. Now, according to research from the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies at York University, we are more likely to want and need to become lifelong learners as we deal with multiple career transitions.
The Ontario Curriculum for Guidance and Career Education is very much geared to emphasizing lifelong learning and continuous career planning. Teachers now implement the Creating Pathways to Success which encourages students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 to assess, plan, and adapt to continual career development.
The following Career Exploration List presents a variety of free, online self-assessments to assist individuals struggling with awareness of skills, temperament, and abilities. The list was compiled and checked in July of 2014 to ensure that all links are working. Some tests might require registration, but none of the sites have contacted or sent spam to individuals completing the assessment.
FREE CAREER EXPLORATION RESOURCES (AT TIME OF PUBLISHING)
Please note that we have done our best to provide a list of free resources. If you know of any new free assessments, or if you notice that any of these assessments now have a fee, please let us know and we will edit the list.
- 123test – Various psychological tests.
- Alberta Work Search Online – Online downloads and links to help with career exploration.
- Assessment.com MAAP – Assessment to find the right career.
- Career Cruising – Skills, knowledge and career exploration access available through some schools and libraries.
- CareerTest.net – Type theory and career choices.
- Employment and Social Development Canada Essential Skills – Assess skills for trades and apprenticeships.
- HumanMetrics Jung Typology Test – Various MBTI type tests.
- Keirsey Temperament Sorter – After taking the personality type test, scroll down to access a free mini-report.
- Life Values Inventory – Assessment to determine values profile and next steps.
- MyFuture – Build your career profile and get career matches.
- O*NET OnLine – Career exploration and job analysis tool.
- Ontario Workinfonet (OnWIN) – Education, career, and life planning resources.
- Open Colleges – Provides an understanding of personality type and the career areas best suited to each type.
- Personality Testing Holland Occupational Themes – Interactive version of the IIP RIASEC Markers Scales.
- PersonalityPage – Personality questionnaire.
- Prospects – Online career planner.
- Rogue Community College Holland Code Quiz – Short checkbox quiz to determine Holland Code.
- Service Canada Job Bank: Career Exploration – Assessments and resources to help narrow career options.
- Service Canada Job Bank: Making Career Decisions – Links and resources to help narrow career options.
- Toronto Public Library – Various self-assessment resources and tests.
- TypeFocus – Assessment measures three interactive concepts: personality, interests, and values.
- University of Toronto – On-line self-assessment package related to career choices.
- University of Waterloo – Centre for Career Action’s resource library for career decision making.
- Vocopher – Career assessment research resources for career professionals.
As mentioned in the Atkinson study, random testing without follow up can lead to confusion and uncertainty. Taking time to dialogue with clients builds stronger relationships and positively affects employment outcomes. For many individuals, knowing their strengths and weaknesses opens the door to a wider range of employment possibilities.
In a rapidly changing economy where permanent positions have become rare, it has never been more important to be able to identify career possibilities. These career exploration resources can give participants a fresh look at their personalities, temperaments, and possible career avenues. For career development professionals, assessment completion can facilitate interesting and productive discussions with clients.
Pat Shepherd is the founder of Career Help Canada and author of the eBook “Stand Out Résumés”. She trained as a Career and Work Counsellor (CWC) at George Brown College and also has a B.Ed. in Special Education. As a certified Career and Employment Information Specialist (CEIS), she is passionate about providing the best research and resources for her clients. Pat is known for her commitment to discovering the skills and accomplishments of each unique individual.