Assessment Tool for Students

Wake Forest has been making great strides in the arena of personal and career development. More than just helping students find a job following graduation, the Office of Personal and Career Development (which includes the Career Services office), is trying to help students pinpoint who they are, what is important to them, and how to find job or graduate school opportunity that is really well matched to their best skills and abilities.

I had the chance to visit with Carolyn Couch, Associate Directof of Career Services, earlier this week to learn about a new asssessment tool called Focus2. This is a set of computerized tools and assessments available to students who have registered with the Career Services office for the DeaconSource tool (if your student hasn’t registered, urge him or her to do so! Information is online).

Focus2 is pretty remarkable. Students have the ability to take self assessements on work interests, personality, skills assessment, values assessment and even leisure time. As a student completes an assessment, they are shown a list of career opportunities that match their results. They can drill down further into the results and see average salary for each job type, the skills and abilities needed in that job, the work environment, and more.

Students can get results and career suggestions for any of the individual assessments they take, but they can also get a ‘combined results’ report that takes into account all the assessments they completed and narrows down the list of potential career interests to a smaller number that represents their best potential areas of employment. It was a fascinating demo to watch and I hope parents will urge their students to take advantage of it.

There was also a section of Focus2 entitled “What Can You Do With a Major In?” which showed potential job opportunities based on majors. This might be especially appealing to potential liberal arts majors who may not realize that a degree in [insert department here] could lead them to a job they might very much enjoy.

The staff of the Office of Personal and Career Development is filled with outstanding resources for your students. It’s never too soon for students to start the career exploration and personal self assessment process. They can make an appointment in the Career Services office (Room 8, Reynolda Hall, right near the Pit) and begin learning more about themselves and their possible future careers.

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