Find careers that match my interests

Career interest tests help you to find career options that match your interests. Most career tests ask you questions about different activities and you indicate how much you enjoy doing these activities. Based on your answers, a profile of your vocational or career interests is generated. If you can see yourself in the profile, then the career test may be useful for suggesting occupations that match your interests. There are many different career tests available. Some are pencil and paper tests and others are accessible online. Your school Career Practitioner may be able to guide you in completing and interpreting a high quality and well researched career test. If you are home schooled you can find a Career Practitioner from the Career Development Association of Australia .


Career Interest Tests

Many people find career interest tests helpful for:

  • Identifying career possibilities to investigate further.
  • Confirming a current career idea.
  • Monitoring and reflecting on your career interests over time, for example, by completing career tests every year or two while you are in the middle years and secondary years at school, or whenever you are facing a career transition in your life.

myfuture Career Interest Test

There is a career interest test on the myfuture website. You will need to sign up to My Career Profile which can be accessed from the Menu. Follow the guidelines to complete the interest questionnaire. You can then find matching occupations and do some research into the suggested career options that most interest you, including related education and training courses.

RIASEC Career Interest Tool

You can download and complete a publicly available scientifically researched and valid career questionnaire 1 based on the RIASEC theory of career interest types developed by Dr John Holland 2, 3. This theory is the most extensively researched theory of how people choose occupations they will enjoy.

RIASEC theory states that each person resembles one of six vocational personality types. These personality types are ideal types. This means in that no one person will match any one type exactly, but they will be more like one type than the others. In summary the six types are 4:

Realistic (R). Realistic types usually have mechanical and athletic abilities, and they like to work outdoors and with tools and machines. They typically like to work with things more than people.

Investigative (I). Investigative types usually have mathematical and scientific ability and they often like to work alone. They typically like to explore and understand things or events rather than persuade others.

Artistic (A). Artistic types usually have artistic skills, enjoy creating original work, and have a good imagination.

Social (S). Social types usually like to be around other people, are interested in how people get along, and like to help other people with their problems. They typically like to help, teach, and counsel people more than engage in mechanical or technical activities.

Enterprising (E). Enterprising types usually have leadership and speaking abilities, are interested in money and politics, and like to influence people. They typically like to persuade or direct others more than work on scientific or complicated topics.

Conventional (C). Conventional types usually have clerical and mathematical abilities, and they like to work indoors and organise things. They typically like to follow orderly routines and meet clear standards, avoiding work that does not have clear directions.

Many people like to work in occupations and study courses where they can perform tasks that they enjoy. You are likely to enjoy occupations, work environments and courses that complement your top RIASEC interests. After estimating the RIASEC interest categories you most resemble, you can identify and explore occupations, work environments and courses that involve the activities that you enjoy.

How to Use Your Results After Completing the RIASEC Tool

  1. You can use your results to identify occupations that match all combinations of your top two or three RIASEC categories. For example, if your three-letter code is ASE, you should identify occupations with the three letter codes of AES, SAE, SEA, EAS, ESA. Alternatively, using the ASE example, if you want to focus on just the top two RIASEC categories, you should identify occupations with AS and SA in the code.
  2. You can also use your top two or three RIASEC categories to reflect on the extent to which different occupations, work environments or courses complement your top RIASEC interest categories and will allow you to perform work tasks that you will enjoy.

Tools for Identifying Occupations

  1. If you are attending an Australian school, college or university that has a Career Centre, you may be able obtain a copy of the Australian edition of the Self-Directed Search Occupations Finder 5. This publication lists occupations that match all possible RIASEC three-letter codes, including the skill level required for each occupation. Using this publication you should search for occupations with all possible combinations of your three-letter code.
  2. O*Net is a free, online database of occupations in the United States of America. You can search for occupations by RIASEC interest categories . Some occupations may be named differently to Australian occupations. Nevertheless, this is a useful resource for identifying occupations related to your top RIASEC categories.
  3. Although the good universities guide occupations database has different interest categories than the RIASEC scheme, there are some similarities. When you select Careers , you can search for occupations by type of work, and skill level. The relationship between the RIASEC categories and the Good Universities Guide types of work are shown in the table.
Good Universities Guide Categories
RIASEC Categories
Practical or Mechanical
Realistic
Nature or Recreation (some Nature or Recreation occupations are similar to Realistic)
Analytic or Scientific
Investigative
Nature or Recreation (some Nature or Recreation occupations are similar to Realistic)
Creative or Artistic
Artistic
Helping or Advising
Social
Persuading or Service
Enterprising
Organising or Clerical
Conventional

For example:

  • If your main RIASEC category is Realistic, or R, explore Practical or Mechanical and also Nature and Recreation occupations on the Good Universities Guide occupation database.
  • If your main RIASEC category is Artistic, or A, explore Creative or Artistic occupations on the Good Universities Guide occupation database.

At the end of the description for each occupation that you select from the Good Universities Guide, you can find courses that provide the training for that occupation by state or territory.

It is important to remember that all career tests are based on the test writer's view of the world. Often this view will correspond to how you see things, but it is important to consider your personal perspective and your personal life circumstances. A Career Practitioner, your parents or others who know you well will be able to help you reflect on how you see things and incorporate your personal perspective and life circumstances into your career decision-making.

Career Interest Questionnaires

There are many career interest questionnaires available on the Internet. For many of these questionnaires there is no evidence on the website to indicate that the questionnaires have undergone research to assess their psychometric properties. Nevertheless, these career interest questionnaires can be a useful guide. It is always helpful to compare the results from a formal career interest test with a career interest questionnaire. Here are some examples of career interest questionnaires.

The Career Quiz -
Based on the answers given, a range of potentially suitable career ideas are suggested and job profiles are provided. The job profiles include information on average weekly pay before tax, expected future job prospects, qualification levels, a description of the tasks involved and an external link to vacancies for the occupation by state or territory where further information can be gained.

The Good Careers Guide Aptitude Test -
A series of images of workers doing their job is presented. Students select an emoji (smiley face, neutral face, sad face) to indicate whether they would: (a) like the work activity; (b) be neutral in terms of like or dislike; (c) dislike the work activity. When completed, the career interest category suggested by the pattern of responses is presented, together with some related career ideas. When an occupation of interest is selected, a profile of that occupation is presented, including personal requirements, education and training, tasks and duties, working conditions, employment opportunities, facts such as average weekly wage, future growth for the proportion of jobs by state or territory, weekly hours, unemployment rate, gender split, distribution of educational qualifications, age distribution and links to related courses by state or territory and related careers.

1 Armstrong, P. I., Allison, W., & Rounds, J. (2010). Development and initial validation of brief public domain RIASEC marker scales. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 73, 287-299.
2 Holland, J. L. (1959). A theory of vocational choice. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 6, 35-45.
3 Holland, J. L. (1997). Making vocational choices: A theory of vocational personalities and work environments (3rd ed.).Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.
4 Peterson, G. W. McCain, S. C., Reardon, R. C., & Leierer, S. J. (2016). Congruence of self assessed and measured interests as a function of career decision state. Paper at the bi-annual meeting of the Society for Vocational Psychology, Tallahassee, Florida, May 16-17, 2016.
5 Shears, M. & Harvey-Beavis, A. (2012). Self-directed search: Occupations Finder, Camberwell, Australia: ACER.