After working with many, many students in public, private, and homeschools (including homeschooling her own children), author Jill Dixon wrote this book in response to a need she saw for better planning for career and/or college.
This book includes four, self-administered assessments that should take a total of from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours to complete. Students even as young as middle school might take the assessments to begin thinking about their future, but it is ideal for junior high students and high schoolers.
The four assessments and their descriptions are:
"Work/Service Preference Survey"
This assessment identifies potential work tasks students enjoy and groups them under categories: Builder, Solver, Creator, Helper, Leader, and Organizer. A list of possible careers for each category follows.
"Concise Learning Styles Assessment"
Preferred Learning Modalities--auditory, visual, and kinesthetic--are identified with this assessment. Lists of careers that fit the different modalities follow.
Pairs of personality traits are contrasted, with students identifying traits that describe themselves. Grouping the different traits results in a number of personality profiles that are then correlated with lists of appropriate careers.
"Work Environment Questionnaire"
This assessment asks just a few questions relating to such things as a preference to be able to move around versus a preference to sit most of the time, or as to which role is preferred when tackling a group project.
Pages at the back of the book are used to collect and analyze the information gleaned from the assessments. That information might then be used as students make future course selections and other decisions that affect their academic and career future.
Since this book was written for Christian homeschoolers, it pays particular attention to jobs that might give leaders of households more time at home and stay-at-home jobs for moms/wives.
Higher education is often required for careers so lists are included for technical school/career training programs as well as for more traditional college majors. A large portion of the book is then dedicated to various career fields with suggested preparatory courses to take for middle through high school levels, activities that might help students prepare for the career, and professional titles of people working in that field that students might want to interview. For example, under Criminal Justice, courses such as Anthropology, Health/CPR, and Psychology are recommended. Among recommended activities are joining a debate or forensic team or working part-time at a Sheriff's Department. Students might interview a CIA Agent, Criminologist, District Attorney, Parole Officer, Police Officer, Judge, or Substance Abuse Counselor.
In addition to career and college planning assistance, this book includes lots of helpful extras like a list of high school requirements, sample course of study, list of volunteer/service opportunities, information on CLEP and AP tests, how to list credits and calculate GPA, how to prepare a transcript, and information on the ACT, PSAT, and SAT exams.
While there are even more in-depth tools available that address some of the individual topics found in this book (e.g., complete books dedicated to CLEP tests) or offer more complex assessments, this book is more comprehensive in scope than most.
Although most middle grade through junior high students don't know what type of careers they want, taking these assessments might help them identify personal strengths and interests to explore so that they can be prepared to make well-informed choices during high school and beyond. High school students who have not yet done this sort of self-assessment, should do it as soon as possible so they can make well-informed decisions regarding their "next step" after high school graduation.