Career Assessments from Tucareers

Career Assessments

As discussed in previous posts the worker characteristics domain in the O*NET content model defines abilities, work styles, work values and interests as attributes that are stable across an individual’s lifetimes. Research over the years has shown that matching a person with the environment based on these diverse attributes and traits can help identify occupations where he/she can best fit.

As part of O*NET, data has been collected on these attributes over past several years from thousands of job incumbents across different industries and organizations. Career assessments  using standardized and psychometrically validated questionnaires/scales can help evaluate an individual on these attributes. Using data analytics, our framework can then  shortlist the best matches by accurately comparing and matching the assessment results (over 100 different aspects) with requirements in careers across the sphere of work.  The data driven approach also helps us to predict factors like satisfaction and tenure across different careers recommended.

The Tucareers framework evaluates the worker characteristics and worker requirements as defined by the O*NET content model for students. The worker requirement attributes are more amenable to change and development than the Worker Characteristics. For professionals the Occupational Requirements area also considered. More details on the important attributes / traits evaluated in various career assessment products are provided below

Interests

These are activities that we like or dislike doing.  

Career exploration is facilitated based on Holland’s theory of interests where an individual is assessed on 6 categories namely Realistic (R), Investigative (I), Artistic (A), Social (S), Enterprising (E), and Conventional (C), collectively called RIASEC. Interests are arguably the most important aspect for determining fitment in different careers in individualist societies and, to a lesser extent, in collectivist societies as well.

Work Styles

These represent personality and temperamental factors that influence a person’s work related aspects. Research has shown that a good fitment enhances an individual’s job performance. The work style taxonomy used in O*NET is build using  constructs from multiple personality assessment models like Big 5/FFM, Hogan’s etc. We have further implemented a scale for assessing the work styles. The Work Style construct has 7 higher order constructs and 17 lower order constructs.

Abilities

These are enduring capabilities to accomplish a wide range of tasks. The self assessment questionnaire we use identifies 25 critical factors across cognitive, psychomotor and physical factors to match an individual to ability requirements of different occupations. For advanced usage (ages 14 to 15) we also provide a timed aptitude test that can help assess an individual on 7 critical dimensions of arithmetic reasoning, spatial, verbal, computational, object matching, clerical and mechanical abilities. Together with the self-assessment results, the aptitude test results can indicate self-efficacy (one's belief in one's ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task) an important insight for career guidance.

Work Values

These are relative importance of activities and work environment characteristics based on the Theory of Work Adjustments. Its utility is in person-to-job matching and is a main driver to determine an individual’s satisfaction for the job. There are 6 higher level value constructs, but are assessed by pair wise comparison of 21 lower order constructs.

Knowledge

Knowledge is possession of a body of information required for performance of a task. It can be acquired through education, training and specific experiences. The taxonomy for this area identifies 33 different knowledge areas.

Skills

Skills represent a person’s competency to perform tasks and they improve with training and experience. O*NET categorizes them as Basic Skills & Cross Functional Skills and further into 7 mid level and 46 lower level areas.

Work Context

Work Context, which is part of the Occupational Requirements domain of O*NET determines the social psychological and physical conditions under which work is performed. Knowing an individuals preferences for desired levels helps to compare with requirements in different roles/occupations and craft work to best suit one's work preferences.

Product Wise Mapping

As students progresses in his / her life , they become aware of the different traits and can respond appropriately to the assessments evaluating them. So the Career Spark product for classes 8th and Career Spark product for classes 9th and 10th   assesses Interests, Work Style / Personality and Abilities, while the Career Spark product for classes 11th & 12th, also considers knowledge preferences, which a school student becomes aware as he/she specializes. The Career Ignite product targeted for graduate and post graduate students also considers the work values and skills , which is important to consider as they look at entering the world of work.

For a working professional, prior experience can also be used to determine work activities, context and tasks that the person has had exposure and preferences to and can also be considered for finding suitable career options. The Career Energize product from Tucareers for working professionals, thus also considers Work Context. In the context of the gig economy and as professionals increasingly craft their work to suit their preferences, this evaluation of work context is very relevant.

In the next post we look at the Interest Assessment in more detail.