Deciding on a long-term career path is a significant life decision. What do you want to spend your life doing? Will it fulfill you? Will it give you a sense of purpose? Will it pay the bills? These are all valid, practical questions, and every person will prioritize them differently. For some, a job painting sunsets at the beach might seem ideal, but very few people have managed to make a living from it. In such a case, it might be wiser to rank “paying the bills” higher than “will it fulfill you?”
Ideally, you want to strike a balance and find work that checks all the boxes. One good way to determine the right options is to take a free online career test. Some high school counselors offer aptitude testing that can provide students with data to help with decision-making. But these are not always useful at the time, because interests and abilities change. That is why so many businesses have begun developing career tests of their own.
The Best Career Test Options
No website is going to brag that their career test is the worst! So to determine the best, you’ll have to decide for yourself. This might mean running through a few different sites and comparing the results. We’ve assembled a concise list of sites, some of which proclaim they feature the best career test on the web. You be the judge!
Gladeo’s career test is engaging, relatable and fun! It is based off of Holland’s Codes which the Bureau of Labor Statistics uses to classify careers from. What’s great about Gladeo’s test is that it takes your personality strengths and your interests into consideration. Your career test results match you with exciting career pathways and then you can learn about those careers through their inspirational videos, career profiles and infographics. You get your very own “Virtual Career Day” without leaving your computer.
The name might make you think of someone with a multiple personality disorder, but 16 Personalities only refers to the different personality types as outlined by the Meyers-Briggs chart. Examples include ISFJ, a type that is “Introverted, Observant, Feeling, and Judging.” This 12-minute test can reveal telling insights about one’s true nature, which in turn can lead to better career option selections.
Princeton Review doesn’t offer a ton of information upfront about their career quiz. Their site just hops right into it with 24 “would you rather” type questions that help them “estimate your personal Interests and Usual Style,” whatever that means. To ensure test takers stay unbiased by salary considerations, the site instructs users to assume that all options offer “equal pay and prestige.” Given that Princeton Review has been around for 35 years, helping students with everything from tutoring to college admissions, we’re giving them the benefit of the doubt that this is a useful career test.
MyPlan features a short 12-minute values exam designed to help test takers learn more about what is important to them. Results offer scoring for six different “work values clusters,” comparing how well you match up against 739 different occupations. The test is free, and the site provides additional tests (like Career Assessment, Career Personality, Career Interest, and career test Profiler) for a small fee.
My Next Move
Created with sponsorship by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Employment & Training Administration, the O*NET Interest Profiler can be found at My Next Move. This free resource aids users in determining their personal interests and how they can relate to various jobs. O*NET itself, as the “nation’s primary source of occupational information,” is a valuable career test tool for examining specifics about particular occupations after your test results are received.
The Predictive Index
The Predictive Index (PI) Behavioral Assessment is a simple 6-minute exam that asks users to choose adjectives describing how they think other people would expect them to behave. This is an interesting twist for a career test, but the test then moves on to have users pick the adjectives they’d choose for themselves. Once complete, they’re given a Reference Profile based on their anticipated workplace behavior, which PI breaks down into four main categories: “dominance, extraversion, patience, and formality.” According to the site’s chatbot, users can take a free test.
Whatever profession you choose, the odds are that to earn a good income, you’ll require some training. Keep in mind, that training could be vocational (something to teach you only the skills needed to perform the work) or could be more rounded (like a university degree program).
Advanced positions typically require a graduate degree, in the form of a master’s or above. Such education is expensive, and many students find themselves graduating without any good job prospects, thus ending up in debt with no job. As you explore career options, don’t forget to take financials into consideration!