Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Review for Discover Career Planning

TOS Crew Review

Product: “Discover Career Planning Program” by ACT Inc.

Price: “$19.95 for a three-month license, $24.95 for a six-month license.”

*I received this product from this company (for free), for the purpose of sharing my opinion.*

From the Website:

“The DISCOVER career planning process begins with a research-based assessment system that allows students to assess their interests, abilities and values—a critical step to building a career plan based on personal strengths.

Students can then explore multiple career paths using DISCOVER's up-to-date databases of occupations (including military), majors and colleges. DISCOVER also includes the latest information about financial aid and scholarships.”

It is designed to:
        - “Identify their strengths and needs with an assessment of interests, abilities and job values.”
        - “Build a plan based on your personal profile.”
        - “Explore occupations, majors and schools.” 
        - “Build an education plan that relates to career plans.”
        - “Improve job-seeking skills and develop a resume.”

ACT offers a free College Curriculum Planning Guide. This looks like a great book. It is offered online, and contains 164 pages.

What we did:
I had Amy (14) do this. We logged into the program and she started taking the test. This was just a series of questions to find out her interests. Amy had a good time saying she was “interested” in several things that aren’t normal for her. Frankly, I was a little surprised. I mean, why would she want to sit for a lecture about the solar system?? That just wasn’t like her. But I kept my opinions to myself and let her pick her own answers.

However, the results of the assessment were not good! It said she would make a great doctor or nurse. We both looked at each other in shock!! She was not happy! So I told her to re-take it. But this time, she had to only choose answers that she felt were coming from her heart. She had to pick things related to a serious life-long career.

The second time around, her results were right on! The results were that she would make a great teacher, “model” (shudder), fashion designer or actress (drama). What Amy actually hopes to do is become a dance instructor for children, and own her own studio. (She is currently a full-time dance student.) So the results were better this time.

We were, however, extremely overwhelmed with all the possible jobs she could have! There were also questions about how long she was willing to attend school – some college, no college, 2 years of college, and on and on. So we played with this a bit and she found more job opportunities were available if she stayed in school the longest!

I was happy to see a list of colleges from our own state of Vermont! That was impressive!

Final Thoughts:

The program is probably best for a few types of students:
1. Those that aren’t sure what they want to do. OR
2. Those who are fairly certain what they want to do, but don’t know how to get there.
In our case, Amy already knows exactly what she wants to do. So this isn’t something we would have even bothered to try unless we were reviewing it. In all fairness, I already have two older children who went to college and I’m working on the third. Amy is my fourth. So that might have a lot to do with my opinion. It is very possible that mothers who are preparing a first child for college / career might find this program just what they need.

My overall impression is that it looks like an outstanding product, but just not something I would be willing to pay for.

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