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Assessment

4 Things to Consider Before Selecting a Career

“If you love what you do , you don’t have to work a day in your life”

One of the biggest decisions you will ever make is selecting a career. This choice is likely to determine the college you attend, the degree program you enter, the kind of job you get, and the qualify of life you enjoy in the future.

There are a number of things to consider before committing yourself. You need to understand yourself, research careers that interest you, and take into account the costs and benefits of various professions.

1. Self-Analysis

Ask yourself some questions. What do you most enjoy doing? What are your strengths and abilities? What activities interest or inspire you? Are you an extrovert who likes working with people, or would you prefer a more independent job? Do you thrive under pressure, or prefer a low-stress environment?

Think about the high school subjects in which you got your best grades, the extracurricular activities in which you excelled, and hobbies that give you satisfaction. Perhaps you have had a part-time or summer job involving duties you enjoyed. These experiences should paint a fairly clear picture of what you like and the things you do well.

Students have widely varying interests, talents, and personalities. Everyone is not suited for the same types of employment. Take an honest look at yourself, and cross off your list of possible careers those that do not fit you. Ask a high school guidance counselor, teacher, or other adult you trust to rate your strengths and give you feedback on potential occupations.

A number of career-assessment tests and quizzes are available online. They measure your aptitude for various sorts of jobs, and help you identify aspects of your personality that would lend themselves to certain professions. Because your psychology plays a major role in determining what you like and dislike, some of these tests pose probing personal questions. The Career Key, the Myers-Briggs test, and the Strong Interest Inventory are among the career self-assessments you may want to consider taking.

2. Research

Look up information about jobs that match your interests, skills, and personality. Conduct web searches of words and terms related to the subjects and activities you enjoy. Find out about employment opportunities involving those things, and compile a list of careers that you find intriguing.

Research job descriptions and other information about these careers. Speak with professionals in the fields you are considering, and ask them about the joys and challenges of their jobs. Volunteer or get an internship doing work related to a career that you find interesting. The more you learn, the easier it will be to reduce the number of potential jobs on your list.

3. Costs and Rewards

It should come as no surprise that high-paying professions tend to require substantial investments of time and money. For instance, medical doctors must earn bachelor’s degrees, complete four years of medical school, and then obtain several years of specialized training before they are finally allowed to practice.

You are obviously interested in knowing how much various jobs pay. A lucrative occupation may enable you to pay off your student loans much more quickly. While everyone wants to make a good salary, the amount of money is more important to some people than it is to others. How much does it matter to you?

Keep in mind how much it costs to get the education and training required for a career. Find out which colleges and universities offer degree programs in the field. Are the schools far away, or could you save money by commuting from home?

Do not be discouraged by high tuition rates, at least not until after learning about all the financial-aid opportunities. Scholarships, grants, loans, and other types of assistance are available from the federal government, states, colleges, and private organizations. You may find that your preferred career path is not as expensive as you initially feared.

4. Job Prospects

Another factor is the number of jobs expected to be available in a profession in the future. The federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics is one of the sources you can consult for such predictions.

Having a degree will not mean much if you can’t find a job in the field. Learn about a career’s trends to get an idea of future job prospects. Try to figure out whether an occupation will continue to provide the salary level you require.

There are many things to keep in mind while going through the process of selecting a career. Do not forget to continually ask yourself, “Is this something I can see myself doing every day for the rest of my life?” No matter how much a job pays, you are not likely to be happy if you don’t like the nature of the work.

Finally, remember that nothing is permanent. You can always change your mind, though it could be costly to do so. Many students change their majors during their college years. Others opt for different professions after they have worked for several years in their degree field.

If you follow all the steps, compile the necessary information, and make wise decisions, you may find yourself with a career that you love.

ACT & SAT: What You Need to Know

If you or your high school child plans to attend college, you probably have already heard about the ACT and SAT tests. Post-secondary institutions require prospective students to complete at least one of these exams, and post an acceptable score. You must determine which test to take, and identify the subjects you need to study in preparation for it.

The SAT

The Scholastic Assessment Test was called the Scholastic Aptitute Test when it was created in 1926. Either way, it has always been known as the SAT. The Educational Testing Service administers the exam, which was developed by a nonprofit organization called the College Board.

The test is designed to measure whether a student has the literacy and writing skills required to be successful in college. Students have 3 hours and 45 minutes to answer the questions. With breaks, the process takes 4 hours and 30 minutes. Students earn a score between 200 and 800 points in critical reading, writing and math. Each subject features 10 sub-categories, with questions ranging from easy to difficult.

The critical-reading section requires students to complete sentences and answer questions about information contained in blocks of text. Skills measured are vocabulary, knowledge of sentence structure, and the ability to comprehend reading passages regarding various subjects.

The math portion of the SAT, also called the “quantitative” or “calculation” section, has three components that take a total of 70 minutes to complete. Most of the questions are in multiple-choice format, with some “grid-in” queries that require students to write answers inside grids on the answer sheet. The subjects covered are numbers, algebra, geometry, statistics, probability and data analysis.

The writing section consists of multiple-choice questions and a short essay. Students identify errors in sentences, and decide the best way to improve sentences and paragraphs. Grammar, word-usage, sentence structure and other skills are measured.

To take the SAT, an online reservation is required at the College Board’s website. Reservations, which must be made three weeks in advance of the test, also are accepted by telephone or mail. The test is administered seven times a year in the United States. There is a fee, though low-income students are granted exemptions. A number of organizations and companies provide books, classes, tutoring and online courses to help students prepare for the SAT.

The ACT

The American College Testing (ACT) exam has been used since 1959. According to ACT Inc., which administers the test, it measures students’ educational development, as well as their ability to succeed in college English, math, reading and science courses. A score on a scale of 36 points is determined in each category by answers to multiple-choice questions. The test takes 3 hours and 25 minutes to finish.

The English section, which lasts 45 minutes, consists of 75 questions that test a student’s word-usage, punctuation and other literacy skills. The math section features 60 questions that must be answered within an hour. The subjects include algebra, geometry and trigonometry.

The ACT reading test, which must be completed in 35 minutes, covers prose, the humanities, social science and natural science. The science-reasoning section contains 40 questions with a 35-minute deadline. Students read passages regarding scientific principles, then answer questions about them. Concepts include interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning and problem-solving.

An optional writing section is sometimes included in the ACT. Students have 30 minutes to write an essay on a given topic. The results are included in the English-section score.

The composite of the test scores on the various sections is computed on a scale of 36 points. Depending upon the university, a composite score between 17 and 31 is required for admission. The average student receives a score of about 21. The ACT is administered three to six times per year, with states differing in their schedules.

Choosing a Test

In the past, universities on the East and West coasts of the United States tended to require prospective students to take the SAT. In the South and Midwest, the ACT was preferred. Today, most colleges accept both tests. However, it is crucial that students ask the institutions they may wish to attend about their policies.

The ACT and SAT measure slightly different academic skills, with some some variations in subject matter. Students are advised to figure out which exam is best suited to their knowledge and test-taking skills.

In general, the ACT is considered a content-based exam, while the SAT entails more problem-solving and critical thinking. Put another way, the ACT is an achievement test and the SAT is an aptitude test.

The ACT, unlike the SAT, measures science reasoning, trigonometry and grammar. The SAT is more concerned with vocabulary, and is not solely comprised of multiple-choice questions. It also imposes a penalty for wrong answers, which is not the case with the ACT.

Universities consider numerous factors in deciding whether to admit a student. The ACT or SAT score is a major consideration. It is important for a student to determine which test to take, learn about the subjects it covers, and then take the time to study in advance of the exam date. Earning an acceptable score can make the difference between being accepted or denied at a college.

Choose a career based on your personality type

For high school grads, choosing a career is a tough choice for some. Understanding your personality and choosing a career in line with that, will provide you with the career satisfaction which otherwise may be hard to achieve.

Understand Your Personality

An important aspect in choosing a career, which will help you settle in your practical life more easily, is understanding your personality and your interests, preferences, passion and applying it to your career choice. This will make you love your job, and settle in easier.

Personality Assessments
There are many ways to learn and understand your personality type. There are many tests available online which give detailed description of the results and are not really hard to understand. You should be honest in answering the questions. You can also consult your career counselor and they can conduct a test for you and share the results. They will also let you know about possible career choices based on your personality type. One of the most popular and widely used tests to assess personality types is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

Extroversion vs. Introversion

These are the most basic personality types. If you think you know what extroversion or introversion means you might be wrong. Introversion does not necessarily mean the person is shy and alternatively, extroversion does not depend only on how outgoing the person is. No person is completely either also. The majority of people lie in between the two extremes

Understanding the Difference
Introverts lose energy from being around a large group or crowd for a long period. They recharge themselves by being alone.

Extroverts lose energy when they are on their own; they like to charge themselves by being around people. It energizes them to be social.

Then there are those who lie somewhere in between. This personality type is called as Ambivert. These people posses some qualities of both the extremes.

The Verdict

It is not really a simple choice to make after you know your personality type about what career you could be in. it is a means to better understand at what you could be best at. You personality type should also consider your interests and preferences of how you would want to build your life. If you think of yourself as an introvert it does not mean you cannot work as part of a team, you can. If you think you are an extrovert, you can work on your own as well. It is just about setting your priorities and goals and knowing your interests.

Some Suggestions

As a high school grad, you should understand what your personality type is to make a better informed decision. Some personality-specific suggestions are:

Business and Marketing
If you like being the center of attention and talking to people you could choose to become a public relations specialist. As an introvert, in the same field your personality type could suit being a market research analyst.

Information Technology
For a career in IT, extroverts could opt to be a computer support specialist where they would have to interact with people to solve their problems. Computer programming would suit an introvert. They will at ease working on ideas by themselves.

Health Care
For an introvert they could choose to be a medical records and health information technician. It requires coding and categorizing with little or minimum interaction. A registered nurse as a professional career in health care would be a perfect fit for extroverts. As it requires being calm with patients, they will be more comfortable working with other people.

Finance
In the field of finance, being an accountant might be the best thing for introvert provided they are good with numbers, balancing and tax preparation. For an extrovert, being a personal financial advisor would make them outshine since it requires client interactions and dealings.

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