Resources About Colleges
Using self-assessment tools (many of them free), students can learn not only about themselves, but also about the college majors and careers that are compatible with their strengths, general interests and personality type.
- MyRoad, a service of the College Board, is available at no charge to all students who have taken the PSAT. MyRoad offers a personality assessment and suggests careers and majors compatible with the student’s personality and strengths.
- College Match: A Blueprint for Choosing the Best School for You, by Steven Antonoff, contains self-assessment tools that are popular with college counselors. College Match is a self-help book.
- The University of Missouri Career Center offers a wealth of information (no fee) to help match a student’s interest and skills with suitable careers. The University of Missouri site provides a framework (a two step process) for finding majors and careers that are a good fit based on the John Holland – six personality and work environment types – assessment. The first step is identifying one’s type (or types, some people fall into 2 or 3 categories) and the second step is exploring suitable majors and careers. Holland types are as follows:
- Realistic – practical, physical, hands-on, tool-oriented
- Investigative – analytical, intellectual, scientific, explorative
- Artistic – creative, original, independent, chaotic
- Social – cooperative, supporting, helping, healing/nurturing
- Enterprising – competitive environments, leadership, persuading
- Conventional – detail-oriented, organizing, clerical
- For those interested in the Holland Assessment, About.com offers a helpful assessment quiz adapted from a career and interest survey developed by John Holland. It is designed to encourage you to consider how your own personality traits may relate to many college degree programs. The free quiz consists of ten questions with six choices for each question. If you find that two or three choices fit your personality, you can repeat the test with alternate answers to determine a secondary personality profile.
Once you identify potential careers, The Occupational Outlook Handbook put out by the Department of Labor provides information about education typically required, expected income, and other useful data. It’s an excellent free online resource.
There are also a number of books that you may find useful, including:
- College Majors Handbook with Real Career Paths and Payoffs: The Actual Jobs, Earnings, and Trends for Graduates of 60 College Majors
- Book of Majors 2012 (College Board Book of Majors)
- How to Choose a College Major, revised and updated edition
- Major in Success: Make College Easier, Fire Up Your Dreams, and Get a Great Job
- What Can You Do with a Major in Psychology: Real People. Real Jobs. Real Rewards (What Can You Do with a Major in…)
- What Can You Do with a Major in English: Real People, Real Jobs, Real Rewards (What Can You Do with a Major in…)
For those interested in the largest paycheck following graduation with a Bachelor’s Degree, engineering is the most lucrative major. According the CNN Money Watch, the top 15 highest-earning college degrees all have one thing in common — math skills. CNN Money Watch has a section of its website devoted to “The Best Jobs” with a focus on pay, growth prospects and meaningful work.