Based on research, we know that effective career exploration and planning starts with finding out what you like to do (interests), what you’re confident doing (skills), and what’s important to you in the workplace (work values). We also know that individuals persist in school courses, majors, occupations and jobs at a higher rate if their measured interests guide their selection of these. Interest assessments help students identify and understand their interest patterns or themes.
Interests start being formed in the elementary and middle school years, and they solidify during the secondary and postsecondary years. Career interests remain quite stable across one’s life span and continues to be important predictors of job satisfaction and stability. The Kuder Career Planning System® (KCPS) exposes students to career exploration as early as pre-K. Using the Kuder system from elementary school on provides broad exposure to interest areas.
The KCPS is designed to provide students with the competency of self-awareness. This foundational understanding of one’s personal interests, skills confidence, and work values sets the stage for effective career exploration and the pursuit of meaningful work. Ultimately, the KCPS is designed to enable students to be in the best possible position to achieve a sense of purpose and satisfaction in their chosen future careers.
The Kuder assessments measure more than just interests. In addition to the Kuder Career Interests Assessment® (KCIA), the Kuder system includes the Kuder Skills Confidence Assessment® (KSCA) and the Super’s Work Values Assessment-revised (SWVA-r). While assessing skills confidence is important, skills confidence can be developed through coursework and work experience. Blending interests and skills confidence results helps identify viable options that encourage student engagement.
Assessing work values is another critical component in career decision making. When students know what is important to them, they can use this information to determine the appropriateness of career options beyond decisions based only on interests and skills confidence.
The Kuder assessments are built on nearly 80 years of ongoing, rigorous research and standards to ensure they provide the highest quality results. Available through Kuder Navigator® and Kuder Journey®, our career interests, skills confidence, and work values assessments are the first critical steps to successful career development.
The Kuder assessments are subject to ongoing research to ensure their reliability and validity and freedom from ethnic, gender, cultural, and linguistic bias. This process is guided by Dr. Hoi Suen, Pennsylvania State University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of educational psychology whose areas of specialization include psychometrics, educational assessment, and evaluation.
The target reliability, validity, and fairness of all Kuder assessments – in both original and localized forms – is to meet or exceed the 1999 as well as the 2014 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing established by the Joint Committee on Testing Practices established by the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education; as well as guidelines established by the International Test Commission.
All items in the Kuder Career Interests Assessment® have undergone cultural/linguistic sensitivity reviews and statistical DIF analyses to detect any bias due to different gender or race/ethnicity experiences, as well as linguistic differences and cultural differences for countries outside of the United States.
In addition to valid and reliable career assessments, the Kuder system takes a holistic approach in that it introduces students to a host of additional resources, such as multi-year course planning, goal-setting, electronic portfolio development, college major and occupational exploration tools, job search skill-building, financial aid information, a scholarship search database, a financial literacy learning module, a resume builder, and much more.
When selecting a formal career assessment instrument, practitioners must take into consideration how much time the instrument takes to administer and interpret. It’s important to assess the time limitations of educators, school counselors, and students. Kuder’s assessments each take between 4 and 10 minutes to complete and can be started and paused at any time. The Kuder assessments are designed to be completed in a short time frame in order to reduce student anxiety around the process, and to maximize administrators’ schedules. School counselors and teachers simply have limited time available to administer career assessments during the school day.