Going to university may be only one of many stages in life, but it is the best time students can decide the right career path. That is, university is the one place you could take advantage of to socialize with and benefit from a variety of calibres, university professors, etc.
College students are diamonds in the rough. Each has their own history, story, and perspective built on that. But many of them enter the university of their choosing feeling lost or stressed. (See our previous article “4 Ways a Perfect Assessment Boosts Higher Education Development“.)
Moreover, higher education students may have many concerns regarding whether they have indeed chosen the right faculty, if they should change it now before they regret it, or what specialty they should to select afterwards.
Since university professors are more experienced in life and are more connected to the labour market, they are the best to help students. This is why university professors and educators believe that teaching students is not their only role.
They see that their job also includes understanding, listening to, and supporting students. So, here are some useful ways to follow in helping students find the right career path.
1. Find the Right Career Path: Strengths-Colored Glasses
1.1. To Professors
Encourage students to view the world and themselves through ‘strength-colored glasses.’ The term ”strength-colored glasses’ was much talked about by Chip Anderson, a leading researcher in education and psychology.
As an alternative strategy, Chip once entered a conference room in his faculty and handed all the attending professors colorful plastic glasses. Then he challenged them to imagine seeing only their students’ ‘strengths’ through them.
This is pure neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). No one will truly see strength, but this is a way for them to focus on it. If they focus only on students’ strengths they will not see their weaknesses. Consequently, they will be able to connect more with the students and help them.
Surprisingly, his strategy worked. Years later, many of those professors came to Chip’s funeral holding colorful plastic glasses in appreciation to his life-changing perspective.
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1.2. To Students
If applied to students, this strategy would be a way for them to break the barriers that are stopping them from identifying themselves in their fullest potential. This may open up many opportunities for them.
For example, a student successfully used this strategy and considered it a life changer for him. Since he was young, he loved talking a lot. Unfortunately, he always considered himself a chatterbox. After applying this strategy, he found that he can use this quality to brainstorm new ideas by telling expressive, vivid stories.
Once students begin to view themselves differently, they will also start viewing their future differently. Hazel Markus, a psychologist at Stanford University, speaks about the concept of “possible selves.” They are ideas and images of ‘what you might become in the future.’ She theorizes that “this vision of what one can become motivates students to set and achieve goals.”
2. CliftonStrengths Assessment and the Labour Market
Many worldwide schools, universities, and even work institutions support conducting career assessments. Career assessments are done to help a person choose the right job or college specialty; some are free.
There are a variety of career assessments, but they mainly last for 20-40 minutes. Career assessments assess your weaknesses and strengths and offer students the right jobs for them.
Source: Ant Moran–Crystal Echo Director
However, CliftonStrengths assessment is only about positive psychology. It focuses on the points of strengths in students. When they can recognize their strengths, they will be able to identify themselves, select the best strengths suitable for the labour market and work on them.
Many people think they have only one strength to use. Sometimes, weaknesses cloud their view of their own strengths. And many times this mistake is the reason students feel lost.
That’s why the assessment designers believed that focusing on strengths rather than developing weakness is the best way to excel and succeed in your career.
Further, they saw that everyone is born with a set of talents. These talents, when developed correctly, are then shaped to be strengths that are to be recognized and used to shape your future.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” Confucius.
The assessment has 34 strengths branching from 4 domains: executing, influencing, relationship building, and strategic building. 21 million has taken the assessment.
I have taken the assessment myself, and in my results were 5 themes. The test was very accurate for me and my only regret is not taking it when I was in college. It explained many things I unconsciously did and did not know the reason and how to take maximum advantage of—An editorial assistant explained.
3. Qorrect: Choosing the Right Career
One of the best ways advanced technology has reached showing the right career paths for students is Qorrect. So what is Qorrect? And how can it lead students to the right career paths or specialties?
Qorrect is a smart assessment system that works in three steps (at least). First, it helps you create a balanced exam. Second, it delivers it to examinees through multiple platforms (computers, tablets, smartphones, or even printed papers). Third, it analyzes the results in a few simple steps.
3.1. Qorrect’s Features and How They Help Students
The computerized examination program has many features. However, one of its most unique features is that it stores, monitors, and tracks each student’s academic level, record, and information.
These features could be extremely useful in identifying the right career paths or specialties for students. Having all this data will assist college professors and educators in their helping their students.
Furthermore, Qorrect allows you to create exams based on the curriculum covered and the learning objective. It assesses exam items via wide variety of reporting and analytical tools and, then, offers item enhancement options. And it also connects cognitive and skills levels of the students with the exams.
Having these options will help students determine their priorities and what they want to become. It will save a lot of time for the examiners and the examinees. (Read “Cheating in Exams: Psychology behind It and How to Stop It?“)
Qorrect is now used in many faculties in Egypt. Recently, the Assessment and Evaluation Center in Tanta University agreed to implement Qorrect in 5 faculties: Medicine, Education, Law, and Literature.
- StrengthsQuest: Discover and Develop Your Strengths in Academics, Career, and Beyond, Donald O. Clifton, Edward “Chip” Anderson, and Laurie A. Schreiner, Gallup Press, NY.
- Positive Psychology in a Nutshell: The Science of Happiness, Ilona Boniwell.