Truity, a personality and career test developer, recently made its newest career readiness test, the Holland Code, available for free online.
IU students can participate in the free test through June, though Walter Center career coach Maria Cambone advised caution to students using tools like the test.
“We consistently caution students that no tool or survey can tell you what career is best for you or what careers you'll be good at. You gotta discover that for yourself,” Cambone said.
Each of the questions on the Holland Code asks how much students like or dislike doing a specific task to gauge possible career paths. For example, the Holland Code may ask if the respondent likes designing the cover of a magazine or if they would like planning a marketing strategy for a company. After taking the test, respondents will receive pages of data about their propensity for certain careers based on their answers.
Students’ feedback features data from six interest areas: building, thinking, creating, helping, persuading and organizing. The Holland Code then tells participants which interest area is most relevant and what that result means. For example, if a student’s top area is persuading, they would be most happy in job positions that require selling, motivating and strategizing, according to the test.
Feedback will also include suggested careers based on respondents’ answers. For someone whose primary interest area is persuading and secondary area is thinking, some of the suggested jobs include lawyer, producer/director and public relations manager. The website also provides information such as average salary and projected job growth, as well as detailed information on suggested jobs.
IU senior Kendal Swift is a political science major who recently took the Holland Code test. His results showed that his top interest area is building, he said.
“I realized that although my major is political science, I would fit in better with a more hands-on and physical career choice such as ranching or farming,” he said.
Swift has been considering changing career paths for a while, and the Holland Code helped guide him toward this decision, he said.
Cambone said she would discourage students from changing their major based on their Holland Code results.
“I believe that while the official version of the Holland assessment is better than free versions, it still isn't much use to students who want to know what jobs they'll be good at or what they should do for a career,” Cambone said.
The Holland Code is different from other career tests because it is a combination of a personality test and a career test. The test acts as a “reality check” because it clears up common misconceptions about certain career paths that may not be very compatible with what you actually are interested in doing according to your personality, CEO and founder of Truity Molly Owens said.
“Truity’s personality tests are based on sound, research-backed theories, including Myers and Briggs' 16 personality types, the Big Five model of personality and the Holland Code system of career selection,” Truity public relations lead Jenna Birch said.
“It looks at the kinds of activities you like to do and how that matches up with the actual day-to-day work in various jobs,” Owens said.
Owens stressed the importance of being prepared to enter the workforce at a time where there is so much economic uncertainty.
“You’ll come off better in interviews if it’s clear that you’ve thought about the kinds of roles that really fit you instead of just jumping on whatever you can find,” Owens said.
But Cambone also said that free career tests can often be misleading.
“Imagine a freshman who really wants to get into Kelley takes the assessment and answers all the questions imagining themself as a Kelley student next year,” she said.