Wednesday, November 4, 2009

ACT Discover Online Career Planning Program

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I recieved a free 30 day subscription to the ACT, Discover Online Career Planning Program in order to review.

This program essentially plays the role of the high school guidance counselor. Just as a guidance counselor, the Discover program guides students down a career path, something that can seem like a difficult task for a parent who perhaps has not gone to college, or if this is your first high school student, where do you begin?

Here is how ACT describes their program;

ACT Advantage offers DISCOVER—the career planning system developed for professional career counselors and used by millions of students to develop a comprehensive career path.

"DISCOVER is jam packed with career tips and uses a proven developmental guidance process to help students:

  • Assess interests, abilities and job values.

  • Explore occupations, majors and schools.

  • Build an education plan that relates to career plans.

  • Improve job-seeking skills and develop a resume.

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.

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


All of this sounds fabulous, however, I was a bit turned off by the program before I even had my son try it out. As I have done with my others review, I tried the program out before even introducing it to my son. I want to have a working knowledge of the product, as well!


So, I signed into the program and began to take the inventories they offer, in order to "Discover" what career path would be a good fit. However, as I took the inventories, following the directions they gave, I found that the career choices they gave me, were not anything close to what I would actually enjoy.

I was given things like refuse collector, paper hanger, plumber, butcher, among many other crazy things that do not fit what I would see as my ideal line of work!

I continued through all of the inventories, and was not pleased with the outcome all the way through. I felt that the reports at the end of the inventories were not helpful whatsoever. They were long lists of jobs, that seem to be disconnected.  If my high schoolers had this result it would not give them guidance, it would cause more confusion.


We have been able to look at their interests and their talents on our own, and come up with a career path that is much more suitable then what was 'discovered' through the 'Discover' program.


The one thing that I did like about the program was the resume section, which gave a tutorial and examples of how to write a resume.
 If you do not have any idea on how to guide your child, or what direction they might want to go in, then this may be a helpful tool. 

Please visit their website to see if it would be a fit for your family.

And please visit the crew blog for varying points of view!

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