Monday, November 2, 2009

ACT Inc. Discover -- Online Career Planning

Do you remember the High School Guidance Counselor and all the tests you had to take to help you decide where your skills and interests were?  I loved those tests!  Well, ACT Advantage has an online career planning software called Discover

As their website states, the Discover software helps students:

  • Assess interests, abilities and job values.

  • Explore occupations, majors and schools.

  • Build an education plan that relates to career plans.

  • Improve job-seeking skills and develop a resume.

My 14 year old daughter loves personality tests and exploring her interests, so she enjoyed her time on the Discover website.  She loved digging through the many career options it presented to her, and looking at the education requirements for each career.  It helped her to see what careers were available to pursue, and what would be required for each career.  At one point, I teased her that this was really the "stay in school, get a degree" propaganda machine since it lays out what your projected future income would be with each level of education you complete:  GED, high school diploma, 2 year degree, 4 year degree, graduate degree.  It also included information on scholarships and financial aid, to help plan how to pay for college.

After seeing all the options the Discover assessment provided her, my daughter then started removing fields of study and career paths from her portfolio.  Since she doesn't really want to go on to a master's degree, she removed jobs that REQUIRED a graduate degree, for instance.  This narrowed her career planning portfolio down to a more realistic and manageable list of careers that interest her most.  When she was done with her portfolio, we were able to print it so she could keep this idea list as she continues through high school.  We discussed that the high school courses she chooses can be important, as well.  If she wants to pursue a science career, she'd need to focus more on math and science in high school than if she wanted to pursue a career in art.

There were some weird things that came up.  She isn't really interested in math, yet many science careers that lean heavily on math did appear on her final assessment.  I'm sure they were triggered by other interests or values of hers.  But it was still good for her to look at those options and consider them. 

One of the benefits I see is that homeschool parents don't always know all the career options out there in a specific field, or what educational requirements that career path would have.  14 yo A was looking at careers I hadn't heard of, and wouldn't have been able to advise her on educational requirements at all. 

Unfortunately, this is a secular software provided by a secular company.  There were very few faith-based ministry  careers listed and many Christian colleges were not included in the college database.  I also had to remind my daughter that God already has a plan for her life, and that if she is following Him ... He'll guide and direct her into a career.  For the Christian student, the Discover assessment can be helpful, but thankfully it is not all we rely on.

The Discover assessment is available with a 3 month license for $19.95, or a 6 month license for $24.95.  This can be helpful both for freshman looking at what courses to study in their high school years, as well as for seniors preparing to apply for colleges and scholarships, and choosing their major course of study.

Working through the Discover assessment was a helpful process for my daughter.  It helped her see what her options were, and also helped to take some of the fear and worry out of the future.  It was a fun way for her to explore her future plans and goals.

This item was provided free for review purposes, as members of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  There was no other compensation, and this is our honest review. 

Click the TOS Homeschool Crew banner at the top to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.

Trusting In Him,

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