Trauma in children and adolescents - 16 Jul 2013
The social and emotional impact of ADHD - 22 Jun 2013
Subject choice and career assessments
Why is a subject choice/career guidance assessment important?
It is commonly acknowledged that most people will change careers at least five times on average during a lifetime. New careers that require new skills and attitudes constantly emerge, only to be replaced equally quickly as the demands of a changing society and burgeoning technology create ever new demands. Career counselling is therefore more important than ever and is not so much aimed at choosing a specific job, but rather on making sure the child ends up in the right career field. Specific career fields require children to have specific subjects from Gr 10. A subject choice assessment is therefore a good idea if the child is uncertain of which career field will be suitable for him/her.
What does a career guidance assessment entail?
Career counselling is a complex process. The Psychologist acts as facilitator who assists the child to interpret her interest, potential, personality and career values and so design a career plan or life theme.
The process consist of
- A three- to four hour individual assessment of interests, aptitude, personality and values using relevant and reliable psychometric tests.
- Help with choosing a particular career field
- Providing a list of possible specific careers
- In-depth feedback to the child and his/her parents
- A full professional report
- Assistance with university requirements
- Follow up sessions, if necessary, to help the child to narrow his/her choices
Which psychometric tests are used?
- The Differential Aptitude Test gives us an idea of the child's aptitude in many areas, including verbal reasoning, non-verbal problem solving, numerical and mathematical ability, spatial and perceptual skills and memory for meaningful material. The validity and reliability of the test has been scientifically calculated and was found to be very high.
- The 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire is widely known and generally used for the assessment of personality. It provides one with an absolutely unique and detailed profile of the child's personality. Students are therefore not "boxed into" four or more personality groups, which can be vague and not helpful when making decisions about choosing a career.
- The Career Interest Profile helps the child to choose from 19 broad career fields. By the end of the process the child's top three fields are identified and linked to specific careers.
- The Values Scale measures vocational values such as achievement, authority, creativity, economic reward, altruism, social relations, autonomy, prestige, variety and risk. These needs are closely related to eventual work satisfaction.
Pitfalls - what to look out for and avoid:
Individualised career assessment is highly specialised and involves an in-depth process of exploration. It is very important to make sure that you take your child to an experienced Educational Psychologist. Don't hesitate to ask about a professional's qualifications and practice number as well as whether they are registered with the Health Professional's Council to administer, score and interpret the tests.
There are organizations and people who claim to be career "specialist". They tend to use basic, unscientific computerized tests and tend to just copy and paste their findings to a generic report.Do not be satisfied with generalised findings or suggestions.
Although it can be an expensive process it is a worthwhile investment into your child's future. I offer a career guidance assessment at a competitive price based on medical aid rates.