If your ministry is interested both in assisting young people in establishing paths to becoming happy productive citizens, as well as in assisting socioeconomically disadvantaged adults and families in the community, then one programmatic activity that can fulfill both missions is the occupational interest assessment.
Occupational interest assessments, sometimes called occupational interest inventories, are essentially career interest surveys designed to help people discover what jobs they would find most interesting, and suggests a number of options that will enable them to do what they love.
Who benefits from occupational interest assessments?
- Anyone who is interested in learning about themselves and their true job interests.
- People interested in making a career change, either because they are dissatisfied or simply want a change.
- People evaluating different careers or considering returning to school to pursue a campus degree or online degree.
- Individuals returning to the workforce after an extended absence due to travel or raising a family.
- Students planning their university major or post-secondary education.
- New graduates weighing different careers and job alternatives.
Your occupational interest assessment program will help students and working professionals explore educational and occupational alternatives, learn about careers, and set goals for the future. The inventory should include a carefully-constructed questionnaire that inquires about a respondent’s level of interest in a wide range of familiar items (i.e. words or short phrases describing occupations, occupational activities, hobbies, leisure activities, school subjects, and types of people). You may also want to incorporate job shadowing options into your program.
Ultimately, your occupational assessment program will ensure that those you serve are on the right path before they invest time and money into getting a degree or pursuing an unsatisfying job. Therefore, the resources you develop for the evaluation should provide assessment across a wide variety of job areas providing insight into what careers each participant is passionate about. The results will tell each individual if their current or future job is a strong or weak choice for them, and if a career change is in order.
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