As a career counselor, your position is elevated to that…
Many times, students, as well as professionals, try to change their career paths after some years, having realized that the previous career was not meant for them. In doing so, there is a loss of time, loss of resources, and a sense of regret in the individual. However, now, the theory of career choice is so evolved that it allows for foresight in successful career opportunities for individuals. It does so in the form of a proper psychometric test, which connects the values of the individual with the values required for the job, creating rankings of employment options that are likely to make you successful, happy, and satisfied.
A psychometric test is simply a test that gathers relevant cognitive, and behavioral data on an individual to better inform them of the career environments that they are likely to flourish in. The test-taker answers a series of questions about their preferences, lifestyle, behavior, and perceptions. These tests often include questions aimed at collecting the cognitive and reasoning ability of the test taker, along with analytical and subjective questions. Each questionnaire delves into a separate part of the individual’s personality and attempts to then correlate the collected data with pre-existing models that inform the algorithm. The field of work, or career path, exhibiting maximum correlation with the individual’s personality is the field in which the individual will be most satisfied and successful. One must realize that each of these tests is individualized, and there is no right or wrong answer in the test. The test taker should honestly answer all the questions asked in the test. This will help achieve the maximum benefit from the result, as the report depends on the unique personality parameters of each person. One game-changing benefit of proper psychometric tests is that they cater specially to every individual, and in a very scientific way, advise the individual of their most favorable career options.
The test is capable of processing and reporting fields of employment for the individual in ranked order of successful outcomes. As they are based on the personalities of the individuals, which are shaped over time, it is advisable to take proper psychometric tests at every career-changing step of the person. People take these tests when they are in classes 10th to help them decide the subject streams to choose, in class 12th to inform themselves about their majors of undergraduate study, and afterward for choosing particular jobs or subjects of further studies.
The algorithm of a psychometric test is informed by the theory of career choice. This field was first explored by John Holland, an American psychologist back in 1958. After multiple levels of research and experimentation in the field, the Holland Codes were invented. This system is also referred to as the RIASEC system. It notes the level of personality traits of a person by collecting answers to targeted questions. These questions inform the levels of the following traits for the individual: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional (where the first letters of each trait make up R-I-A-S-E-C). The individual’s preferences, and so their personality, shown by their answers is mapped onto the RIASEC scale.
On the other end, through research across the years, most jobs, and career fields in the world are categorized according to the certain set of RIASEC traits that make individuals most likely to succeed in them. For example, a ‘musician’ is likely to succeed if s/he has a high level of traits Realistic, Artistic, and Enterprising. Once an individual’s RIASEC questionnaire is completed, their report would consist of the jobs that best match with the individual’s RIASEC trait levels. The better the fit, the higher would that job option be ranked for a person.
These psychometric tests have been expanded, as well as focussed to cater to individuals at different educational phases of their lives. There are tests meant especially for high school students, for school graduates, graduates, and post-graduate employment seekers. Even intra-stream tests advising individuals on pursuing subjects within Humanities, or the many branches of Engineering are available. A comprehensive list of such tests is available at CareerGuide. As these are often offered online, the test-taking and report generation is a hassle-free procedure that can be carried out in the comfort of your home.
Since the basic workings of the test were laid down in a 1958 Journal of Applied Psychology article by John Holland, constant improvements and experiments have enriched the field of study relating to career studies, job choices, and personality testing. The method itself has evolved from simple categorization of job environments and individual personalities to a more layered understanding of career choices, and chances of success in a given field of work. Career counseling firms have come to almost necessarily depend on these studies to best help their clients find the perfect occupational field. In fact, as research has progressed, the Holland Code has been perfected and built upon by various similar studies into applicable counseling psychology. The Holland Code, or RIASEC model, is based on a six-point personality mapping system that has now also been used to illuminate parameters such as the perspective of the individual in relation to things, ideas, people, and data. This was done in Prediger’s study.
Further, in 1990, further studies resulted in more wholistic models that expanded the initial 6-point hexagonal mapping to an octagonal model. Even later, more parameters were added to create a spherical, three-dimensional model that considered the demographics of the individual. This was incorporated following the realization that socio-economic conditions faced by an individual shape their perspective in many important ways that need to be taken into account. With the ever-increasing level of efficiency and scientific relevance that lies behind the psychometric test of today’s time, they are highly reliable, and relevant. Students and working professionals can substantially benefit from good psychometric testing. However, it is to be noted that in order for psychometric tests to be truly helpful, the individual needs to answer the questions and provide information to the best of his or her knowledge. Once this honesty and transparency are achieved, the report is sure to be akin to a success mantra for the test taker.
Psychometric tests are a scientific and comprehensive way to ascertain your capabilities and aptitude for the plethora of occupational choices available to you. Being based on solid research and study, a real psychometric test should help you in ways very few human counselors may be able to. Although not free from human error, psychometric testing is a reliable solution to a confusing educational or professional phase. This is because these tests have been perfected over time and hence made more robust. It is therefore recommended that students at important crossroads of their lives take proper psychometric tests to help make the decisions that will decide their futures as successful individuals.