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College & Career Training in Alaska

How well do you know yourself? Are you able to answer the question “Tell me about yourself”?  Many people will answer this question with surface-level information. Maybe they keep to the surface because they just met the person, forgot an interesting personal story, or they do not think certain information will relate to the interaction.  When you learn about your likes and dislikes, personality traits, skills, and goals, you are better prepared to introduce yourself, ask for what you are interested in, and relate your skills and interests to schools and programs of choice, as well as occupations, employers, and companies.

Career assessments help you identify interests, skills, and values, then match them to occupations. It is important to know assessments do not tell you what you can or cannot be.  No software can do that. Only YOU can decide what to do with your life.  But you can use assessment results to help make your career plans.

Assessments are not the same as tests. Career assessments usually have no right or wrong answers. They are about you and only you have the answer.  You do not have to complete an assessment in a certain amount of time. Most assessments allow you to work at your own pace. Keep in mind that you can retake assessments in the future and get different results.

Choose an Assessment
Before you take an assessment, it's important to understand what it measures.  Each type of assessment looks at a different aspect of you.  Taking more than one kind of assessment helps create a more well-rounded picture of you.  Assessment types include:

  • Interest: compares your interests with the interests of people working in an occupation
  • Personality: identifies your personality traits and how those influence your preferences for work
  • Work values: matches your work values with the values of people working in occupations
  • Skills: helps you identify occupations that use skills you find satisfying
  • Ability/Aptitude: identifies your natural ability to do something, whether or not you have been trained in certain areas

 Your likes and dislikes say a lot about what you might want to do for work and what kind of environment you might like to be in. Career assessments are useful for those who have enough work experience to know the work values they find important AND for those who are just beginning to explore careers. When you rank work-related needs such as working conditions, creativity, and recognition to find a list of occupations that match your work values, and then look at skills you enjoy, you are more likely to be successful and happy in your work.

Find more information about accessing and completing AKCIS Assessments in the Assessments Example, a short video tutorial.

Explore Your Results

Okay, you have assessment results, now what? Here are some sample questions to ask yourself:

  • Do your assessment results make sense to you?
  • Do you see occupations that interest you?
  • Do the personality types fit you?

Remember these results do not tell you what occupations you should or should not do. They provide one way to look at occupations and at yourself, and help you discover your strengths and those skills you may need to improve.  They may help you consider possibilities that seemed unrealistic before you took the assessment.

Talk to a teacher, counselor, or family member about your results, especially if the results do not make sense to you, yet. They can help you interpret your results and make suggestions for how to use them. Keep in mind that as you get older or gain experience your preferences and interests will change. Many factors can influence your assessment results.

Retake assessments from semester to semester and from year to year to gain a deeper perspective into how your goals may be changing.  Review your saved reflections for each set of assessment results in your AKCIS portfolio. Note: An AKCIS Portfolio is required in order to save your assessment results and reflections for comparisons down the road.

If you have taken more than one assessment and saved your results in AKCIS, you can view the occupations that have appeared most frequently using the Combined Assessments Report. This report puts your results from each assessment into an easy-to-read list sorted by how many times an occupation shows up in your results or by Career Cluster.

Evaluate Your Results

Apply what you have learned from your assessment(s) to research occupations suggested by your assessment results. Using your results will narrow down the AKCIS list of over 570 occupations and 16 Career Clusters into manageable groups.

Connect to labor and workforce information for your Occupations lists. Research and explore the skills, wages, outlook, and education and training required for each occupation you are interested in.  Occupation information also includes helpful high school classes to prepare for that occupation.  Take your research a step further by comparing topics of two occupations at the same time on the same screen.

Your assessment results can help you learn more about occupations that match your profile. If an occupation you are interested in is not on your list, talk to a teacher or counselor to find out why, or how it could be listed in the future. As you have more life experience, your preferences and interests change, so consider retaking assessments throughout your educational career.

Assessment Link

Have you already taken other career assessments outside AKCIS? Some of the proctored assessments you may have taken at your school, military test facility, or university are the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and Strong Interest Inventory (SII). Link those results to explore and evaluate occupations through AKCIS.

For help accessing your AKCIS portfolio or ask other questions about assessments, contact the Alaska Career Information System (AKCIS) Help Desk at akcis@alaska.gov or (800) 441-2962 Option #3.  AKCIS is provided free for everyone in Alaska through the sponsorship of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE).

 

About the Author

Julia Renfro

Julia Renfro

AKCIS Partnership Coordinator

 

A military BRAT turned military spouse, Julia likes traveling and meeting new people. Using Personal Learning & Career Plans (PLCPs), she works with students and families to plan futures that will help them enjoy life and their communities.

 

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