Career Exploration – Free Career Exploration Resources

By Pat Shepherd.

Career exploration is a lifelong process. Most career practitioners have access to a limited number of 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.


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.

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. Assessment completion allows for great discussions with individuals.

This list gives the participant a new look at their personality, temperament and possible career avenues. For fellow Career Counsellors, the information allows for a more in-depth discussion of employment possibilities with their 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.




  1. Catharine Brown

    Hi Pat,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to list these resources. There are a few that I was unaware of and I will definitely be checking them out.
    All the best,
    Catharine Brown

  2. Hi Pat,
    What a brilliant idea! Thank you so much for compiling this very useful list along with nice, brief descriptors.


  3. You are not helping the profession by mixing career guidance programs with assessments. Career guidance programs may use some assessments, but they are not assessments themselves. I also believe you have an obligation to list assessments that have some technical backing, not just anything that appears on the web. If you don’t, then you have an obligation to teach people how to select credible assessment for their students and clients.

  4. Thanks for the resources. Unfortunately a few of these are not “free”. Career Cruising is available from some libraries and schools, but not available to many – it is one of my favourite resources. Many schools may use MyBlueprint or instead – students should check with their school/institution to find the program used there, and the access code. Of course making use of school and post-secondary career offices is a great idea – where else can you get one-on-one help and advising for free.

    Type-Focus also requires an access code from an organization that has paid for it.

    Career InSite from Alberta Learning is a good free resource.

  5. Great insight and information regarding programs that may be available at schools and libraries, Karen.
    I have added Career InSite to our list.
    Your number one fan,

  6. Thanks for your comment, Janet. Agreed that this is a mixed list of career resources. The list is intended as a compilation for those practitioners who are interested in knowing about free resources that might be useful for their clients. I have edited the title of the list to “FREE CAREER EXPLORATION RESOURCES”.

  7. Jeanne Guibord

    This is a great list and very much appreciated.
    Unfortunately for our French-speaking clients, only Career Cruising is bilingual.
    If anyone has any French or bilingual resources to share, I’d love to receive them.
    Quebec resources are often based on the Quebec labour market, thus not relevant to Ontario.
    Thank you.
    Jeanne Guibord

  8. Hello Jeanne,

    Great comment. If you have some assessments for Francophones, please do share them and we will add them to Pat’s list.

    Here is a link to resources for Career Practitioners in Quebec:

    Your number one fan,

  9. Great compilation of resources!
    May I also suggest the following personality tests from TypologyCentral (they’re also free).

  10. Hello,

    I spent over a half hour to complete an assessment, only to find that I must pay $89.95 to get the results. This is not “free”, and could be considered false advertising. Please include “fee required for results”, to be transparent to all users.

    Thank you,


  11. Thanks for letting us know, Deb. We have added a disclaimer. Could you please provide the name of the assessment so that we can remove it from our list.

  12. Andrew Leonardi

    After a year of development we have just launched an entirely free Career Test called JobQuiz. I think it would make an excellent addition to your list. Again – the full results are entirely free.

  13. Thank you sharing the list,
    I have spent a lot of time on “ MAPP” website trying to answer 71 questions
    in order to get a list of the best professions matching my skills, for FREE.
    Unfortunately, the test result just shows one single line of your results (written in letters) and the rest of the assessment continues in dashes. So you basically don’t get to know Anything at all unless you subscribe and pay. Worse than that the assessment doesn’t list the first 10 Career Areas preferences, all you’ll get is dashed lines again.
    Complete waste of time and definitely NOT FREE.

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