Career Tests: Our Top 10
Not sure what kind of job is right for you? A career test can give you some answers.
We get it: Figuring out what you want to be when you grow up is hard, but a career test can make it easier to find your path.
A career test isn’t like a test you take in school; think of it as more like a career quiz that you might find in a magazine. You answer some multiple choice questions and come to a conclusion that is meant to analyze what your answers reveal about you.
What Is a Career Test and How Does It Work?
A career test (also called a career aptitude test) is a series of questions that aim to help you learn more about yourself so you can discover which jobs mesh best with your personality, needs, and goals. Because when it comes to finding a job you'll actually enjoy doing, you need to consider factors beyond your paycheck, commute time, and the like. You also need to think hard about what kinds of work and environments fit in with you and will provide you with the most satisfaction in both the short and long term.
That doesn’t mean you need to go on some soul-searching walkabout; a career test or career quiz is a practical tool that can offer insights as to what makes you tick, whether you’re choosing or changing your career.
Among the factors a career test may cover:
- emotional intelligence
- personality traits
And while many career tests work best when administered in full by a professional who can interpret the results, the 10 self-assessments listed below can give you a sense of where you should be headed and how you should be marketing yourself. Many of these are free career tests so you can get started without your having to spend a single cent.
The below career quizzes are broken into two categories: personality assessments and career assessments. We recommend trying both kinds of tests to get a thorough picture of what kind of job and workplace would generate maximum career satisfaction. Pick one (or more!) of the following career tests and prepare to glimpse your future.
Top 10 Career Tests
Career Aptitude Tests
This assessment can help you identify your motivations and what’s really important to you in your career. MyPlan.com ranks different aspects of work, and the results can encourage you to look at jobs or industries you may not have considered before. You’ll walk away from this career test with a list of 739 jobs rank-ordered based on how well they suit your style. Not bad, huh?
The iSeek survey lets you rate activities you enjoy, your personal qualities, and school subjects you like. Then you can see which career clusters are a match for your interests. And this is another quick one, clocking in at five to 10 minutes.
MyNextMove is a tool that uses information from O*Net, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, to help determine your interests as they relate to work. Unlike the other tests, this one asks you how to rate how much you’d enjoy performing very specific work tasks like “building kitchen cabinets,” “laying brick,” and “buying and selling stocks and bonds.” Hang in there, this one is 60 questions.
4. MAPP Test
More than 8 million people around the world have taken this career quiz. It tells you what you love to do and what you don’t love to do. It also uses the O*Net job list to identify which jobs might be good fits.
You’ll have to fork over $90 for their “starter package,” in which you’ll see your top 20 general career matches. Their “executive package” costs $149.95, and you’ll get a 30-page assessment and ranked matches to 900 careers. But if you just want to try it for free, you’ll be matched with five potential careers.
The Holland Code self-assessment examines your suitability with different careers based on six occupational themes: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. The test identifies your top interest area and how it compares to the other areas, and what this means for your career interests. This test clocks in at 20 minutes.
This personality assessment is based on Keirsey Temperament Theory, which divides people into four “temperaments:” guardian, idealist, rational, and artisan. The assessment measures how people communicate and what their actions tend to be. Yes, the test is 71 questions long; no one said getting to your emotional center would be quick.
2. Big Five
Big Five personality assessments divide people into five personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. The assessment identifies a preference out of the five and can help you identify learning styles as well as work preferences.
According to the Enneagram Institute, the enneagram (a structure that sort of looks like a handful of triangles within a circle) is a model of nine distinct, interwoven personality types: the reformer, the helper, the achiever, the individualist, the investigator, the loyalist, the enthusiast, the challenger, and the peacemaker. You can take the test for $12 on the Institute's site, although there are also a handful of free enneagram-like tests on the web.
16personalities' assessment starts with Myers-Briggs dichotomies (see below) and adds archetypes from Jungian theory as well as some from the Big Five, which is a fancy way of saying you’ll learn whether you’re an introvert or extrovert if you take this test—and at the end, you’ll be labeled with one of 16 personality types with cool names like “Mediator,” “Commander,” and “Defender.” Bonus: the test promises to take less than 12 minutes.
The Predictive Index predicts primary personality characteristics that describe, explain, and predict day-to-day workplace behaviors. This rigorously tested study looks at your strongest workplace behaviors and determines your management and influence styles.
One of the most well-known self-assessments, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is less of a career test than it is the gold standard of personality tests. Created by the mother-daughter team of Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers in the early- to mid-20th century, the MBTI results in a four-letter “type”—INFP or ESFJ, for example.
The test is meant to identify basic preferences for each of four dichotomies (such as introvert and extrovert) and describes 16 distinctive personality traits. For $50, you can join the more than 50 million people who have completed the test.
Take a Career Test and Get Started on Your Path
The better you understand your motivations throughout your career, the better you can spot a job that satisfies you. And keep this in mind: What you're chasing today might not be the same in a year or two. A career test helps to focus on your professional development in order to keep your career path moving forward. Need some more guidance? Monster is the perfect resource. You can get expert career advice and job search tips, plus workplace trends and industry insights, for free today. Figuring out what you should be doing, who you should be working for, and when to move on isn't easy, but Monster is here for you every step of the way.