I sometimes get asked by younger people for career guidance/advice on how to pick a career path. They themselves are typically uncertain of what career to pursue and struggling to decide. Sometimes the older ones will already have a very "generic" qualification that doesn't automatically push them in any particular direction.

Is there any known process or tool for assessing someone for suitable career paths?

  • 2
    Does this answer your question?
    – enderland
    May 3 '13 at 14:56
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    Are you specifically making a distinction between career suitability and aptitude? There are plenty of processes and tools that people use for career aptitude (whether or not they are any good is an entirely different story, but there are processes and tools people use), which is why I ask if you're making a distinction between the two.
    – jcmeloni
    May 3 '13 at 15:04
  • @jcmeloni Sorry, I don't understand: what is the difference between suitability and aptitude?
    – abc123
    May 3 '13 at 16:21
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    In (very very) general, aptitude tests measure pure competency of subject matter, while I would imagine a sort of suitability test would attempt to measure true comprehension, attitude, and other factors regarding "potential". For example, an aptitude test might show I can do a lot of math, and therefore point me to careers that require a lot of math. But I might personally hate doing math at all, let alone want a career using it, so that test would not produce suitable career matches even though I have aptitude for them.
    – jcmeloni
    May 3 '13 at 16:50
  • School (high school and college) counseling offices or placement offices often have people who assist with this. That said, some of jcmeloni's advice should be heeded, as, IME at least, those offices rely heavily on those sorts of tests.
    – GreenMatt
    Jun 13 '13 at 12:53

I have been asked the same question by some of my students and my answer is that there are a lot of such tools indeed. The general six-step process goes like this:

  1. Define their MBTI profile for better understanding of what type of job they might like and be good at it. Of all the numerous classics on this topic I would suggest Do What You Are by Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron-Tieger. There are also Russian variation of the MBTI called Socionics, but it is not internationally recognised yet, so I would suggest a mere Jungian personality test (or another Jungian testing tool) for a double-check.

  2. Study their personal/family history, then use transactional and/or archetype analysis to define their life scenario patterns (e.g. according to transactional analysis by Eric Berne). At this stage, you might even forsee some possible bifurcation points in their life scenario paths.

  3. Define their true motivation (at this stage, some of career intentions might be reformulated because of the persons consulted re-envisioning themselves and their desires, or because of the information you have told them at Step 2).

  4. Define the industries which fit their true motives.

  5. Find in those industries the decision-makers whose MBTI profiles you are sure of and then

  6. define the best strtategies for the efficient communication between the two parties based on Steps 1-5.

Occasionally, there may be same procedure as steps 1-2 for the decision makers.

This is quite a work, but it pays.

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    Is there any peer-reviewed research to support the usefulness of MBTI in something like career advice (with careers spanning at least ten years)? May 3 '13 at 18:45
  • Is there any peer-reviewed research to support the uselessness of MBTI and transaction analysis with. Jungian testing tools in something like career advice?
    – Manjusri
    May 3 '13 at 19:06
  • Yes, you get my meaning, but I was trying to keep it simple. Google Scholar returns 6 thousand results on "MBTI" and "career" keywords, was hoping you can narrow the search. May 3 '13 at 19:14
  • There is a link to one of the classical books on the subject by Tiegers at Step 1 of my answer. Also, here are two more links: skepdic.com/myersb.html and psychology.about.com/od/psychologicaltesting/a/… By the way, career advice and global economics forcast (which should be taken into consideration) are two different things which are paid accordingly.
    – Manjusri
    May 3 '13 at 19:26
  • @Joe Strazzere So what? In Middle Ages there used to be a plenty of persons thinking the Earth was actually flat and that it would be a nonsense to say that it turns around the Sun. I know what the second link is about. No critisism can harm a truth.
    – Manjusri
    Jun 16 '13 at 19:30

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