Formal assessments are standardized, systematic, and data-based. There have been research studies and field testing on these assessments and the findings support the reliability and validity of these assessments.

Examples of formal assessments for Job Exploration:

Informal assessments can also be beneficial to determine students’ career interests or skills. Informal assessments can easily be individualized for students’ needs. Students can demonstrate self-determination skills by explaining their goals or interests. These can often be used in conjunction with a formal assessment to determine the ideal work environment.

Examples of informal assessments:

  • Interviews
    • A conversation between the student and provider can give the provider an in-depth understanding of the students’ goals, interests, and preferences
  • Research reflection
    • Research various careers using online tools, then reflect and discuss which of the careers interested them
  • Observations
    • The provider may observe the student in a work-based learning setting and gather information about how the student performs at the job and if it aligns with their preferences, interests, needs and skills
  • Daily classroom activities/discussions
    • By engaging in career exploration activities in the classroom setting (i.e., a career speaker or video), the provider should consider which career topics the student was the most engaged with
  • Self-rating scales
    • If a student is participating in a work-based learning opportunity (i.e., a school-based enterprise, internship, or service-learning project), he or she can rate their own skills, abilities, and interests as they relate to that experience. This will provide data on whether a related career to that experience aligns with their goals.