Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I use Pathways Career Testing?
Pathways Career Testing combines three measures to recommend the kinds of careers, jobs and preparation that would be more likely to fit who you are. Your results include sections on career interests, motivators you must satisfy for a sense of fulfillment, and behavioral style. The psychometric sections of the test have been research-validated and are reliable. The job recommendations are linked to a national jobs database that is updated as new jobs are created and added.
Pathways Career Testing offers the option of having a professional career coach go over your results with you. This option also includes a second report with an in-depth review of your results. It provides helpful information on your strengths and stress, preferred work environment, relationships, how others can communicate with you better, and the value you bring simply by being who you are.
How long does it take to do the online Pathways Career Testing?
Most people finish in less than 90 minutes. It works best if you can take the test at a time when you won't be interrupted.
What's the best way to interpret my Career Report results?
The Career Report ranks possible jobs in five zones for each of your primary categories: career interests, motivators and behaviors. It also ranks possible jobs in various combinations of these categories such as Behaviors, First Motivator & First Career Interest Combined. If you don't plan to go to college, you would focus on zones 1 and 2 jobs. If you plan to go to college or already have your degree, this would be zone 3 and 4 jobs. Post graduate jobs would be zone 5.
How do I use the Career Report to decide my major in college?
There could be some unfortunate situations you might face in deciding on a college major. For example, if you discover in your last year of college that what you really want to study requires two more years…
- In working on a four-year college degree, usually you have the first two years to decide on your major. Your college might offer 40 or more majors (some offer over 200), and you can only complete maybe 10 courses before you are required to decide—this might not give you enough time.
The Career Report can help you focus on a good career match, and then to choose a major in a timely manner that prepares you for that career. Start researching your best career matches in high school if you can. If you can narrow your choices to two or three majors, you should have time to take a couple of classes in each matching area to help confirm where you want to go.
- If you have your heart's desire set on a particular career, but your Career Report does not match you to that career, then the report will show you what some other options are. Options give you choices, and you can still choose a major that prepares you for your heart's desire, and also take some time to consider another option or two. You don't have to look far to find teachers, doctors, lawyers and others who prepared themselves for a career that was not what they ultimately wanted.
The Career Report will give you options to consider. This allows you to discuss the options with family, friends and advisers, and to do some research or take a few classes to help confirm your career choice and major.
- The college you want to attend might not offer the major you want. As of 2016, there were over 1,800 majors available in the USA alone. For example, you might want to go to a liberal arts college that does not offer engineering, but you're interested in some high-paying research-oriented jobs in the Career Report that might require an engineering or technical degree.
The Career Report can help you choose a college that offers a major in the career areas that interest you.
What if I don't agree with my results?
Most people say that their results are more than 90% accurate—that's a high degree of satisfaction. If you discuss your results with close friends and family, they may confirm your results and provide additional insights. You can learn a lot from the points where you disagree.
The reports generated from the testing are meant to give you some reference points in "black and white." Consider these to be starting points that can offer guidance for options you have not considered. You can expect it to feel awkward or different when you consider things you've not considered before.
What if I want a job that's not listed in my results?
Proceed to explore how well you will fit into that job or career. Consider these five things:
- Out of thousands of jobs in the database, it helps to narrow your exploration to a more manageable effort. Career Pathways Testing provides starting points for you to explore.
- New kinds of jobs are being created all the time and could take a while to be added to the national database. With most Pathways test results, you will see consistent threads for the kind of jobs for you. You might find a lot of jobs in management/supervisor positions, engineering, sales, medicine or other careers that align with the job you want to do.
- Within any given field, there are a variety of jobs you might do. For example, if you decide you'd like a career in the medical field, in addition to doctors and nurses, they need accountants, researchers, salespeople, clerks, managers, directors, technicians, HR specialists, and a range of other jobs.
- Consider that you might be wanting a job where you don't fit very well. The Pathways testing can provide information to help you verify how well you fit whatever job you want.
- Your success could depend on who your employer and supervisor is. It is often said that, "People don't quit the company, they quit their supervisor." On one hand, a bad supervisor can lose a lot of good people; on the other hand, you can be successful working for a good supervisor even if you don't quite fit the job.
What can I expect in the coaching session that comes with Option #2 of Pathways Career Testing?
The coach will help you understand your results more quickly and answer any questions you have about your results. The coach can help with areas you might want to improve such as with your communication, what drives you, and other challenges and interests you might want to include.
Option #2 also includes a valuable expanded report on your behavioral style and motivators. Most people find this report to be extremely helpful to improve their communication and understanding in relationships, to identify strengths and stresses, and to identify and affirm some of the specific value they bring simply by being who they are.
Beyond the coaching session that comes with Option #2, can I extend the coaching relationship with Pathways Career Testing?
Yes. Often times the coaching session will help you discover and realize that there are important things you want to work on that you didn't know before. While you can cover a the results in a 55-minute coaching session, it can take more than a single session if you want to fully address your discoveries, do some planning and have the support of a coach on your career-finding adventure. If you find the coaching helpful, talk with the coach about purchasing additional coaching sessions.
Pathways Career Testing also offers Option #3 for Career Coaching. You can hire the Career Coach to go over your results and also extend the coaching for additional support and clarity.
How Does Pathways Career Testing help me adjust to a company's culture?
Every company has its own culture, and the simple definition of company culture is "how we do things around here." It's one thing to choose a career and find a job; it's another thing to fit into the culture of each individual workplace.
This is a hard truth: you can be highly competent and successful at one company because you fit the culture, and be highly competent and fail at another company because you don't. Sometimes you have to take the job and work there before you can know if you fit or not.
While the self-knowledge you get from Pathways Career Testing can be very helpful in adjusting to any job situation, it is beyond the scope of the results to fully address company culture.
What are the expectations and limitations in using Pathways Career Testing?
Simply stated, Pathways Career Testing (PCT) is a tool to help you identify career options you might not have known or considered before. Services provided by PCT are consultative in nature, and you are responsible for the decisions you make and the actions you do or don't take.
In using PCT services, you agree that decisions you make and actions you take based on input or advice from the testing or the PCT coach are your complete responsibility. PCT and its coaches shall have no liability or responsibility for any actions you take (or do not take) in connection therewith. PCT makes no guarantees or warranties, expressed or implied, as to results to be achieved or as to the consequences of any actions taken or not taken.