Interest Inventories

What interests intrigue you? What captivates you so much that you would want to spend the rest of your life doing this special interest? Career interest inventories are testing instruments designed to help students learn more about themselves, as well as identify careers that would be a good fit based on their interests. The results of the assessments guide students in discovering more about themselves, as well as occupations that are a best fit for them. Inventories help students understand their career possibilities so they can make well-informed decisions about their future. Career inventories are a “bridge that brings concepts into exploration.

Career inventories provide vital information needed for the career planning process, and they aid in assisting students in eliminating career choices that are not the best fit. Career inventories afford students an opportunity to further explore career pathways based on interest, values, and skills set.

Types of Career Inventories

Career inventories provide educators with vital information needed to accurately assist students in their career planning process. Inventories are used to help students learn more about their interests, values, and skills. Inventory instruments are used to help students understand their career needs, and possibilities so that they can make well-informed decisions about their future. There are several types of inventories educators can utilize to assist students, below are a few you can explore.

Personality inventories are self-assessment tools that counselors and other educators can use to identify students’ unique social traits, identify key strengths, and personal work and communication styles, all while providing valuable insight to the student taking the assessment. Identifying these factors or qualities early on aids in selecting a career that will lead to career success and satisfaction. Students can use what they’ve learned about themselves to select careers most aligned with their personality. Below are a few personality inventories educators can utilize to aid in identifying students thoughts, interests, feelings, and behaviors to identify careers that are a best fit.

Myers & Briggs (MTBI)

Myers & Briggs, a well-known personality inventory is designed to identify a person’s personality type, strengths, and perferences. It was developed by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality type. MBTI looks at the 16 personality factors that are believed to make up a person's personality type. Based on students' responses from the assessment, students identify one of the 16 personality types. The goal of the Myers & Briggs Personality Type Indicator is to allow students to further explore and understand their own personalities including strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, possible career preferences, and compatibility with other people.

True Colors Personality Test

True Colors is an inventory students can use to gain a better understanding of themselves. Developed by Don Lowry, the True Color Personality test was created to categorize an individual's basic learning styles. The inventory uses the colors: orange, gold, blue and green to represent four different personality types.The four colors combined, in different ways, make up a student’s personality spectrum. It is important for students to identify their personality traits because it provides insight as to how students will engage, interact, and communicate with others in the workplace.

Holland Codes

The Holland Code personality inventory is used to group students' personalities with occupations. Created by Dr. John Holland, Holland contends that career interests are an expression of an individual’s personality. The Holland Code theory believes that people can be described as a combination of three or more of the six main personality types or possess a dominant trait: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Identifying a student’s personality trait can assist students with finding careers most compatible based on their personality. Identifying one’s Holland Code is useful for students because it engages career exploration, and information gathering.

Work Values Inventories elicit the following questions: What are your values? What matters most to you, and what things are least important? How do your values fit into your career goals? Work values inventories help students identify and describe underlying values that may shape and influence their decision making. Becoming familiar with one's identity, beliefs, values, and behaviors are critical when exploring careers that align with their core values. Work value inventories helps educators assist students with learning more about themselves in order to begin their career readiness journey.

Students have specific things they do well and that are important to them. Learning what one enjoys, what they are good at, identifying specific skills, interests, and what they value most are the steps needed for students to make sound decisions about careers. Learning what one enjoys, what they are good at, and what they value most in a work environment is critical in career exploration.

Similar to skills inventories, aptitude inventories are used to determine students skills or abilities. It assesses how students perform in areas with no prior training or knowledge. Aptitude tests do not test for knowledge and inventories are designed to give students insight as to what kinds of careers are best suited or most fulfilling to them based on the results.