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Career Assessments

Career assessments are surveys designed to help you identify interests, skills, and various personality characteristics that will help you make appropriate career-related decisions.

Should the results of my career assessments determine what I do in the future?

Absolutely not! This is an incorrect assumption that is believed by people far too often. Career assessment results should only verify other information you have obtained about yourself so that you can make a better and more informed decision. The intricately complex nature of the human being as well as the highly technical and changing society we live in can never be fully measured by human-devised evaluations. However, when the appropriate career of aptitude test is used, it can be highly beneficial.

Even if it were possible to determine precisely what you should do in the future, it is probably more important to answer the following questions:

  • Are my career interests or aptitude test results generally supportive of my most cherished life values?
  • Do the results complement my personality attributes?
  • Do the results provide me with enough additional information and insight to help me make a better decision about my career direction?

Once again, the most important thing to remember is to combine the results of any career assessment you take with as much additional information as you need to be able to make an informed and wise decision.

The following is a summary of the most common career assessments administered at Grand Rapids Community College:

Off Line (Paper/Pencil) Career Assessments

Career Pathways Survey

This survey should be considered as a "starting points" only.  If the questions asked on the survey are answered sincerely, the results should give you a "sense of general suitability" as it relates to Michigan's six (6) career clusters.  It is strongly suggested that you follow up later with more comprehensive career planning to confirm a specific career or college major selection.

  1. Michigan Career Pathways Survey                                                                               Time required:  15-20 minutes
  2. Connecting Michigan Career Pathways with GRCC programs (booklet)            Note: This booklet can be used in conjuction with the Career Pathway codes you find to be most suitable for you.

This suvey and booklet can be downloaded (see right upper corner under "Instructions/Descriptions/Surveys")

Career Occupational Preference Survey (COPS)

An interest survey designed to help individuals involved in the career decision-making process and to define the kinds of work one might be interested in doing. Survey results match the user with his/her highest work clusters and offer a sampling of occupations to explore along with related skills, activities, and majors.

Time required: usually takes about 30 minutes

Self Directed Search (SDS)

A self-scored survey designed to help individuals with career exploration as well as educational and career planning. The survey is based on John Holland's six personality types:

  • Artistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
  • Investigative
  • Social
  • Realistic

The SDS results will reflect a 3-letter Holland's Code that match with your responses and strongest personality work environments.

Time required: Unlimited. Usually takes 35-45 minutes


A short, self-scored interest inventory designed to be used as an introduction to career exploration for students and adults. Results can usually be understood without extensive interpretation by a counselor. The results will reflect the survey taker's strongest responses with potentially suitable work environments and occupational possibilities.

Time required: Unlimited. Usually takes about 35 minutes

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

A self-report personality type survey designed to provide the individual with insight into their natural behavior and attitudes. Results describe four dimensions:

  1. Extrovert/Introvert
  2. Sensing/Intuitive
  3. Thinking/Feeling
  4. Judging/Perceiving

Time required: Approximately 60 minutes

Card Sort

A unique, game-like set of card decks. 

  1. Occupational Interests Card Sort designed to assist in the identification of one's preferred occupations from a total of 113
  2. Career Values Card Sort allows you go prioritize your top values from among 54
  3. Motivated Skills Card Sort assesses one's proficiency in as well as motivation to use 48 skills
  4. Retirement Activities Card Sort designed to assess adults in planning retirement & understanding the process of change.

Time required:  This will vary, depending on the Card Sort and the individual.  However, most would probably be able to complete any one of the Card Sorts in a 30-40 minute time frame.


Online Career Assessments and Career Guidance/Information Programs

Career Cruising

An interactive career program designed to help an individual identify the right career, explore different career options and plan future education and training. Includes occupational interests and skills analysis; programs of study across the nation related to your highest occupational areas; interviews with hundreds of workers in various jobs; what is done during a typical day; skills used and much more.             (See Career Cruising Instructions top right)                                                                                

Time required: 30-45 minutes

Career Key

A short, but popular career survey that is based on John Holland's Personality Environments.  Results connects one with suitable career clusters and provides a rich base of information about related occupations and much more.

Time required: 10-15 minutes

Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory

Measures interests in a broad range of occupations, work, leisure-activities and school subjects.  The Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory is one of the most widely-used surveys around the country.  Results are based on John Holland's Personality Environments.

Time required:  35-40 minutes

Career Liftoff Interest Inventory (CLII)

Occupational interest survey geared to help students to assess their interests and connect them to career fields and related occupations.  The results are immediate and include prioritized graphic and narrative summaries that should assist students in their selection of a career and/or college major.  FEE REQUIRED

Time Required:  Approximately 30-35 minutes.

System of Interactive Guidance and Information (SIGI 3)

SIGI 3 is an online career guidance and education program that allows students to examine their values, interests and skills through a series of short assessment surveys.  The results of these assessments can assist students to make appropriate decisions about a college major or occupational selection.  In addition, the student will be made aware of and be able to further explore occupations and educational options related to their assessment results, and much more.  (See SIGI3 Instructions and SIGI3 User Guide top right corner)

Note: You must be a current Grand Rapids Community College student in order to access this program.