Choosing subjects in grade 9 shouldn’t be difficult if you are honest with yourself regarding your strengths and weaknesses. However, at the age of 14/15, sometimes one doesn’t quite know what these strengths and weaknesses are, especially given that the personality is not fully developed as yet. The main question which needs to be carefully considered is whether or not to choose Science related subjects as without these, there is no possibility in the future to study careers related to this field ie. Engineering, Building, Medicine. IT Programming.
Having been involved in the career guidance field for many years, it has become relatively easy to discern whether a young adult has the overall ability to pursue careers within the Science field or not. In all honesty, if one is failing Mathematics and Science in grade 9, what is the likelihood of one excelling in these subjects in Matric and going on to study these subjects at tertiary level. Pretty slim, therefore, my suggestion would be to rather NOT jeopardize one’s Matric results by choosing subjects that will ultimately, never be used in one’s career.
Regarding any other career choice, whether or not you choose the subject matter at hand, is irrelevant to you being able to enter that particular career for example, one can study to become an Accountant without having chosen Accounting at school.
So, in light of this, this is a quick and easy exercise to assist you in determining what subjects you should consider taking… (Refer to attachment below)
Now, what can you establish from the above information? Is your highest mark subject the same as your favorite subject? Are the lower mark subjects your least favourite? Are you currently failing Mathematics or Science? Are you perhaps interested in the going into the medical profession or perhaps studying programming or engineering? If these careers interest you, and you are failing Mathematics and Science, do you think you could improve your marks dramatically? Are you willing to take extra lessons? If not, if may be a more realistic idea to dismiss these careers as an option and not to choose them as subjects. If however, you are doing well in Mathematics and Science but have no desire to move into the Medical, Engineering or IT field, take them anyway. When you get to the age of 16, a full psychometric assessment can be administered to determine which careers you would be best suited to. Given that your knowledge at your age is relatively limited as to what careers are out there, don’t limit your options by not taking Mathematics and Science (once again, if you are not struggling with these subjects)
If you are unclear or need further clarity in choosing subjects, please be sure to give us a call.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CAREER GUIDANCE & ITS IMPACT ON THE ECONOMY
Sunday, 20 July 2014 18:01
Written by Assessments Online
In the South African education system there is inadequate provision for vocational guidance or assessment of individual learners. This weakness results in unnecessary costs for the country as well as social discontent and hardship.
The majority of young people leave school with only a vague knowledge of employment opportunities, and with little insight as to the most appropriate career choice for their abilities. A large number of school leavers receive no training at all beyond school and are virtually unemployable.
Yet, if pointed in the correct direction, they could become an asset to this country’s economy. Those school leavers who believe their only chance of future employment (with current unemployment around 40 %), is gaining some form of tertiary education, irrespective of their suitability for their subjects chosen. Little wonder that the drop-out rate for first year tertiary students stands around 35 %!
The solution – Career guidance and assessment at grade 11, as undertaken in most first world countries, would help alleviate this hardship. With the aid of modern technology, and through the use of psychometric assessments, choosing the wrong career at an early age should be a thing of the past. However, one needs to be aware of the shortfalls in using such instruments before basing one’s careers choice on the results. It is imperative that a career guidance counsellor provide a student with feedback on the test findings and a solid methodology in planning a career be followed. It is only after this process that students should embark on a job shadowing program.
HIGH COSTS OF WRONG CAREER CHOICE
Sunday, 20 July 2014 17:54
Written by Assessments Online
Vocational guidance or assessment of individual learners is poorly handled within the educational system. This weakness leads to poor career decision-making, which in turn means unnecessary wasting of money as well as frustration, discontentment and hardship.
Most young people leave school with only a vague knowledge of employment opportunities and with little insight on the most appropriate career direction for their abilities, interests and personalities.
A large number of school leavers receive no training at all beyond school and become virtually unemployable. And yet, if pointed in the correct direction, they could have become assets to the economy.
Many school leavers believe their only chance of future employment lies in gaining some qualification. So, they rush into some sort of tertiary education, irrespective of their suitability for the subjects chosen.
Little wonder that the dropout rate for first year students at college and university stands at around 35 %!
It is at this point that the first of the wasted costs occur, especially by companies who award bursaries to students.
The next area of wasted costs comes after these school and university leavers are employed. Research shows that a large proportion of employees feel “stuck” in their careers. This leads to low morale, poor performance and bad service levels. Further company training tends to have only a short-term effect. In the end, unhappy employees either leave or are dismissed. In either case, the cost to the business is substantial – recruitment costs, training costs, hidden costs resulting from the poor performance and the lack of continuity within the business.
In the case of dismissal, there could well be added costs arising from stringent labour laws. The Psychological cost to the employee and his family in either case can also be considerable.
The solution lies in proper career guidance and assessment at grade 11 level. This is standard in most first world countries, and would help alleviate much of this hardship and unnecessary expense. It could also play an important role in reducing the high unemployment rate.
With the aid of modern technology and the use of Psychometric assessments, choosing the wrong career at an early age should be a thing of the past. But, somehow, this doesn’t always happen.
One should however be aware that these assessments are not perfect and you should be careful before basing a career choice on the results produced. For a Psychometric assessment to be effective in Career Guidance and HR Development, it needs to:
Combine ability, personality and interest in ways that cab be made transparent for the end user
Meet ethical and legislative requirements
Be affordable, flexible and user friendly
Provide input into possible career suitability based on realistic measures
Choosing career path is such an important decision that it is crucial for the career guidance counsellor to provide the student with:
Individual feedback offering explanatory advise based on the test findings
A solid methodology in planning for their careers
An unbiased view relating to tertiary institutions and course, detailing job descriptions and bursaries on offer
Advice on labour trends and employability
It is only after this process that students should embark upon a job-shadowing programme. Too often this vital hands-on exposure is either neglected due to lack of resources or interest or because it is focussed on careers that are of no interest to the student.
Where this procedure is properly applied, the results are evident, providing the student with an attainable goal to strive towards.
RECRUITMENT PROCESS – DOES BENCHMARKING HELP?
Saturday, 05 July 2014 17:57
Written by Assessments Online
The recruitment process, more often than not results in a subjective opinion made by the hiring manager. Laura Kartus, MD of Assessments Online comments: “when applying for a job, a candidate typically will present the “best” picture, saying what you want to hear, wearing their best attire and all in all, creating a perfect picture. This however, in not what a recruitment decision should be based upon – fortunately, subjective decisions can be a thing of the past given that we now have the technology required to determine one fundamental question – can the candidate do the job”.
The Prevue Assessment does just this – By identifying the key criteria required to do a particular job, a benchmark can be created. This benchmark is based upon a number of different traits which when hiring, can be used to match potential candidates against.
Often employers are only focused on their top performers, however, developing a benchmark for their bottom performers can be just as beneficial.
Take a moment and reflect upon your workforce. What if you took a look at your existing employee base and divided them into three distinct groups:
TOP PERFORMERS YOU WISH YOU COULD CLONE
NOT IDEAL BUT CAN BE DEVELOPED
THE GROUP YOU WISH YOU HADN’T HIRED
Now – ask one question in relation to this grouping: What is your objective in the recruitment process?
I expect that, like majority of employers, your answer will be – to hire somebody in the top third = your top performers. This would sound like the logical answer however, the likelihood of always finding someone that suitable is rather slim. I would argue that you should give equal time to insuring that you never again hire somebody in the bottom third.
Think about it – I expect that you, like most managers, are quite prepared to coach and develop the people in the middle group, but do not have the time or inclination to developing people who were a bad recruitment decision to begin with. Therefore, identifying the common characteristics people in this sector share, will assist you in future recruitment decisions.
The benchmarking process is identical to that of creating a top performer profile – Start by identifying who the people are who have not succeeded in this job. By assessing them, Prevue will develop a concurrent benchmark based on the key criteria you in the future, wish to avoid. In all likelihood you will identify several common themes of behaviour. Now, armed with this insight, you can add new dimensions to your decision making around applicant suitability by adding critical zones (red zones) to your Prevue benchmark.
You will now be armed with information on those variances from the benchmark that you can’t live with. So – when you have less than an ideal fit (70 %) to the desired benchmark, you now make a decision based on the criteria you under circumstances are able to live with.
Prevue enables you to tweak benchmarks as positions & people change – don’t be content with the first benchmark you create . Re-define the benchmark as the position changes and evolves over time. You’re be amazed at how accurate your hiring process will become, eliminating guesswork thereby making accurate recruitment decisions.
MTQ48 – THE WORLD’S FIRST OCCUPATIONAL MEASURE OF MENTAL TOUGHNESS
Saturday, 05 July 2014 17:56
Written by Assessments Online
The world’s first occupational measure of “mental toughness” – MTQ48 – has been launched across the globe and is now available in South Africa. Distributed and marketed locally through Assessments Online, this remarkable online assessment tool is quick to administer, cost effective to run and provides instant, accurate reports with applications in development and recruitment.
Mental Toughness refers to an individual’s resilience and inner drive to succeed, particularly when they find themselves in stressful or challenging circumstances.
AQR Ltd, based in Chester (UK), one of the world’s leading developers of psychometric tests has created MTQ48 with expert support of Dr Peter Clough, Head of Psychology at Hull University. Together, they have created MTQ48 – a unique online assessment tool to enable people to identify their mental toughness and develop it appropriately.
Doug Strycharczyk, MD of AQR Ltd, said “Employees at all levels have to work to meet increasing demanding goals and targets, handling several pressures at one time, whilst responding to interruptions and sudden changes in expectation. The results generated by MTQ48 enable employers to develop strategies and tactics to help organisation and individuals perform under pressure – improving overall well-being in the work place and ultimately, creating a better working environment.”
MTQ48 assesses the mental toughness of managers and employees alike. By measuring four core components: Control, Challenge, Commitment & Confidence, MTQ48 provides guidelines to managers and coaches on how they can develop the mental toughness of their team.
Importantly, MTQ48 can be used in the recruitment process to find people who are most suited to the role, reducing the risk of incidences of feeling stressed in the first place.
The global launch of MTQ48 coincides with the publication of the Samaritans Stressed Out Survey which has revealed that workplace stress is significantly increasing. According to the survey, an alarming 45 percent of men find work to be the largest cause of stress, together with 32 percent of women.
Dr Peter Clough, Head of Psychology at the University of Hull commented: “surveys like the Samaritans Stressed Out Survey demonstrate that more and more people feel that they are stressed. However this may reflect that people now are generally less able to deal with stressors than in the past and they feel freer to talk about stress. MTQ48 offers a way of finding out how people cope, or perhaps more interestingly, why they do not cope – and this in turn means that we can help people to develop their ability to deal with stressors.
MTQ48 measures how people react when faced with different stressors, including work place pressure, multi-tasking, physical and mental fatigue and social pressures. The fact that this measure is so valid and meaningful in the workplace means that MTQ48 enables managers to select the right people or to develop those who are struggling with the demands placed upon them.”