By Dr. A.J. Drenth
In this post, I wished to highlight what I see as two of the best career tools: O*Net and the MAPP career test.
To my knowledge, the most comprehensive and informative career resource on the web is O*Net. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and is completely free. While there are many things you can do with O*Net, I will highlight a few of my favorite features.
When you visit O*Net’s home page, you’ll want to locate the “Advanced Search” area. There, you can search careers according to a number of different criteria:
- Work activities
- Work context
- Work values
Once you make your selections, O*Net generates a ranked list of careers that match your criteria. You can then explore any of the careers from that list. The career descriptions are detailed, well-organized, and user-friendly. They even provide information regarding salary, projected growth, and projected openings.
One of my favorite O*Net features is its use of three-letter Holland codes (e.g., SAI) with each career. Those who have read our career pages will already be familiar with Holland’s RIASEC interest areas (i.e., Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, Conventional). The great thing about O*Net is it allows you to search careers according to your Holland code. Once you click on your primary interest area (R, I, A, S, E, or C), it allows you to enter your second and third preferences for a more specific career match.
The MAPP Career Test
The MAPP Assessment is another great career tool, serving as a nice complement to O*Net. The 71-item MAPP assesses your career interests, values, personality, aptitude, and work activities. It then provides qualitative and quantitative feedback that guides and informs your career search. More specifically, the MAPP ranks your top career matches and can even provide percentages regarding the degree to which a given career matches your test results.
While anyone can take the MAPP for free, the amount of feedback provided varies according to the package. In the free version, you receive a truncated MAPP Assessment, a list of career matches 11-20, and can “MAPP Match” up to five careers. The paid packages provide many more options for ranking, matching, and exploring various careers according to your test results.
I hope you find these tools useful as you move forward in your career journey.