Defining a career path can be a big step. It’s not always apparent which industry you should aspire to work in, which career you should pursue or even which subjects you should study at A Level.
From an early age, children are asked the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” This blue-sky thinking works well in Junior School, encouraging children to think big and aim high, but as the academic journey progresses, the need to make informed choices that will influence future career opportunities becomes essential.
Luckily, help is at hand for pupils wanting to turn their ambitions into action. Interactive resources and tailored advice are available to support pupils as they start planning their futures. At Trent College, our expert careers team also employ specialist Careers Profiling assessments to help each pupil identify potential career avenues.
Each year we allocate time for our Year 11 pupils to sit this crucial assessment, but what does the process actually involve and what do the pupils gain from it? Most importantly, how does it help them go further in their career plans?
Fiona Starbuck, Head of Careers at Trent College, explains all…
What is a Careers Profile?
Our careers profiling combines the results of an interest questionnaire and a psychometrically based aptitude test to highlight academic potential and abilities of each individual allowing them to make informed choices. The aptitude test comprises eight individual tests: Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, 2D Spatial Reasoning, 3D Spatial Reasoning, Arithmetic Calculation, Spelling and Working Quickly & Accurately and the career interest questionnaire covers 300 career targeted questions.
The results of these assessments provide pupils with valuable insights into the work and careers best suited to their skills and interests and potential career areas are suggested that can be be further explored.
Who is it for?
At Trent College, our Year 11 pupils take the assessments at the beginning of the Michaelmas academic term with interviews to discuss their report taking place after half term, ensuring that the results can inform their upcoming A Level options.
Why will it help me?
Using your Career Profile in the early stages of Year 11, you will be able to:
- Consider and research the careers that are best suited to you as an individual
- Step back and objectively review an assessment of your academic potential
- Select the right A Level choices for your future career path
- Develop skills needed for specific careers
- Ultimately, make well-rounded and informed decisions about your future!
In addition, aptitude tests are increasingly being used by employers to assess a candidate’s potential. It is beneficial to familiarise yourself with the process and the types of questions involved in these tests, as this will help to develop your confidence when you are presented with similar situations in the future.
I am an international student. Will I be at a disadvantage?
Not at all, the Verbal Reasoning aspect of the test is also available in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Mandarin), Dutch, English (UK), English (US), Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish.
Can I fail?
These papers are not marked or graded. However, you do need to fully engage with the questions – if you don’t, the results of the assessment will not be accurate and prove less useful.
What happens next?
After half term, each student has a one-to-one interview with a representative from My Future Choice (formerly Cambridge Occupational Analysts) to discuss the results of their Career Profile. All interviewers are all experienced careers advisors, so are well placed to discuss career options with students.
In addition, each student will receive a copy of their personalised Career Profile for further reflection and analysis, alone or with their parents, at home.
I need more help. Who can I speak to?
The careers team, made up of myself, Mrs Starbuck, Head of Careers, and Mrs Tatlock, Careers Coordinator, are based in the Careers and Higher Education Centre. Unlike many schools, my time is not spilt between teaching and careers, therefore I am available to support pupils at a time to suit them and can be flexible around students’ timetables. There are also many other members of staff in the wider careers team who can help with specific queries such as studying abroad or applying to medical school.