By Heather Herman, Presidential Communications
I think it was around the age of two, when I first asked my children what they wanted to be when they grew up. They are now 15 and I still can’t get a straight answer. Perhaps you can relate. I mean, after all, a career is for life and making the wrong choice—well, that’s not such an easy fix. But fear not. Michigan Tech’s Career Services office can help, thanks to their Career Cruising aptitude assessment program. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Jennifer Wall in the Career Services office to talk about the program.
What is Career Cruising?
Career Cruising is an online self-assessment that lets students explore careers based on their education, interests, skills, and abilities. Anyone with a Michigan Tech email address has free access to the program. Login information can be found on Career Services website.
Taking the assessment
After students login and create a personal profile, they can begin taking the Matchmaker assessment in two parts. Part one asks students to examine their likes and dislikes with questions like:
How would you like a career that includes…
- working in an office
- understanding and using physics
- presenting ideas and information in writing
- operating machines
The first section is 39 questions and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Students then see a list of career options that meet their interests after part one.
Section two asks students to evaluate skills they already have or skills they would like to develop.This section asks 61 questions and takes less than 20 minutes to complete.
After completing both sections of the assessment, students receive a ranked list of careers that suit their interests and skill set. Each career listing has an associated link that lets students explore job descriptions, work environments, salaries, and education paths for that specific career. Students can also utilize a job search tool that lets them find available jobs with that job title in any given zip code.
When should a student use Career Cruising?
We recommend students take the assessment early in their college education and before they start exploring internships and job opportunities. We also advise students to utilize Career Cruising if they are struggling with multiple courses and are questioning their chosen major.
The assessment can be taken countless times and throughout a student’s college experience.
What will a student learn?
Career Cruising is an idea generator. The right career may be one you’ve dreamed of your whole life or one you’ve never heard of before. The Matchmaker tool builds self-awareness and lets students explore options.
Can a student meet with an advisor to discuss their test results?
Career Advisors are available by appointment to review results with students year round. The role of an advisor is not to tell students what to do, but instead, help them make informed decisions for themselves. Advisors help students talk through their assessment answers and discuss how they relate to careers that top their interests list. Advisors can also give students tips and tools to move forward in their career journey.
If a student’s career interests and skills don’t match their declared major, advisors will work with students to find out why.
Jennifer’s Two Cents
Career Services did extensive research before purchasing Career Cruising for Michigan Tech in January 2018. I was thoroughly impressed with Career Cruising. My job title was ranked number one on my Matchmaker, and career counselor was listed in the top 20. The staff and faculty who have also taken the assessment found similar results. It’s also fun to take and easy to navigate. Reviewing assessment results and exploring career options with students is so rewarding. It’s one of my favorite appointment types, second only to job offer acceptance letters!
To learn more or access the Career Cruising website at Michigan Tech, click here.