5 On Your Side

Career assessments can help you move forward

Posted January 19, 2009
Updated October 12, 2011

— Lost your job or know someone who has? A few minutes on a computer might just point you in the direction of new career options.

Thu Washington, coordinator of counseling services at Wake Technical Community College, says career assessments are a good way to help you narrow your focus.

Thinking about a new career?

Assessments measure your interests, personality and skills and can help give you ideas about careers you may want to explore.

Several are available online, such as the "Career Key" test on the College Foundation of North Carolina Web site. Click through a series of questions about what interests you, about your general interests and your skills, as well as about you and your values.

Another point of the test is to see options you may not have thought of before.

The program also gives quick information about what's actually involved in a job, such as educational requirements and salary ranges within North Carolina.

"Let's don't dwell in the past," Washington said. "Let's look at the future. Let's look at what you are going to do now. Now that you're laid off, what is your next step?"


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  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Jan 19, 2009

    If any job or career site asks for your social security number (SSN) or other pertinent identity information, stay away from those sites. I have found more and more so-called job search web sites which are phishing or scamming sites.

  • Emil_Barnabas Jan 19, 2009

    The most up-to-date website for career information in North Carolina is http://www.NCcareerOutlook.com/

    This site has a free career assessment (interest profiler) and allows you to sort all of the 800 careers by your career interest, or by career clusters. Within each career cluster table or career interest table, you can further sort by starting salary or by other parameters.

    This data is updated annually, which is better than most web sites. The salaries posted on the CFNC website are unfortunately about 4 years behind the salaries posted on NCcareerOutlook.com. Salaries change each year, so it is important to have access to up-to-date information.

    NCcareerOutlook.com also has a PDF of the North Carolina Career Outlook Handbook, which is printed and distributed to middle and high school students across the state.

    This is the best source for career data in North Carolina.