CareerSmart; a comprehensive and holistic career assessment for students Years 11 – 13 and University

CareerSmart is intended to help students imagine a world they would want to work in, encouraging agency and a sense that they can make a positive contribution – within the context of their own reality. The development of this assessment was motivated to support young people to be grounded in the things that matter to them, encouraging them to think about how they can create a positive future for themselves. It has been designed to enable them to navigate the significant global challenges they are likely to face, including huge technological advancements – all altering the future of work.

CareerSmart aims to align with the Te whare tapa whā concept first introduced to education by Mason Durie as a well-being approach. We consider and hope that practitioners will use this as a holistic approach to career development with young clients, of all ethnicities.

CS offers Career educators an online resource for college students Years 11 – 13 and University students at all levels, an effective self-evaluation to clarify study, learning, and development needs. It provides a holistic exploration for the student that integrates values, culture, and whanau background, with career motivators and interests. The assessment is designed to help students imagine a world they would want to work in, encouraging agency and contribution. University 2nd Yr student sample report. College student – Yr 11 report.

The CareerSmart proposition

As practitioners, we look for tools that make the career development process with a client or student simple yet holistic, where synthesising the information into meaningful goals is made. This assessment offers career educators an online resource for college students, years 11 – 13, and University students at all levels, a broad exploration designed to integrate whanau and cultural influences, needs, and values, with an evaluation of career motivators, career interests and career development competence. It offers students an effective self-evaluation to help clarify study, learning, and development needs.

career smart diagram

Career theory underpins all content in the CareerSmart assessment. Although it does not offer a stand- alone assessment that draws objective conclusions for the user, the conceptual framework of CS is designed to enable agency and self-awareness. Career decision-making is a subjective process, (Arthur, 2005) and when we come to a ‘conclusion’ without the framework of values, familial context and support, the exercise becomes academic. The student or client needs to connect with what matters to them and their particular way of being within the context of their life (Savickas, 2005).

In their paper, Parker, Khapova, and Arthur describe the importance of integrating the personal reality of the student or client in a career decision-making process; In the twenty-first century, enduring predictions about career survival and satisfaction cannot be made from matching people’s interests, values, or aptitudes to suitable occupations. The new career realities suggest that the counsellor’s role must accommodate more personal and more dynamic client needs than a simple focus on jobs. Counseling clients about their careers has long been seen as a decision-making process (Phillips, 1992), with clients’ emotions viewed as having secondary importance (Lent & Hackett, 1994). (Parker, Khapova, & Arthur, 2009).

why how what identity
How: Is explored through self-evaluation of career development skills, developed through experience, and the learning goals identified as necessary to be aligned with their Why.

Why: Is discovered by what motivates and personally matters to the individual (background, Values and motivates).

What: Is about where their interests and natural focus are – or would like to be. These are the fields of work and functions they are curious about and would like to gain skills in. (Career Interests).

The above graphic has been adapted from the original Intelligent Career Framework ‘Knowing Why, Knowing How and Knowing Whom’ (Parker, Khapova, & Arthur, 2009).

Validity and an overview of assessment content

Working with a licensed CareerSmart practitioner, students and young clients can evaluate themselves and their career aspirations in a safe way that encourages self-awareness and agency. Although the practitioner may know the person or student they are working with, the individual’s own self-perception is the only valid lens to work with in order to be empowered. Because of this, the CareerSmart assessment has high Construct and Face Validity.

Stuart Kime’s blog on the ‘Evidence-based Education’ website supports how CareerEQ views the concept of assessment validity: A common misconception about validity is that it is a property of an assessment, but in reality, there is no such thing as ‘a valid assessment’. However, there is such a thing as ‘an assessment which is valid for a specific purpose’: validity is all about the inferences you make based on the information generated. The validity of the CS assessment relies on the career educator to use it for the purpose for which it is intended in a way that facilitates client or student self-understanding.

The CareerSmart assessment offers you as a licensed careers educator:

  1. an assessment that is well-researched and works for young people
  2. access to your own coach portal on the assessment platform that protects your privacy and your students
  3. an online assessment and report that is ideal for remote career learning if necessary
  4. a PDF report that accurately “mirrors” how your student sees themself
  5. self-evaluated data and evidence to support and enable clear action steps
  6. a cost and time-effective process for schools and universities
  7. six comprehensive inventories in one report taking users between 40 and 60 mins (approx.) to complete
  8. a well-structured and visually colourful report that a student would want to refer back to.

Check out sample student reports here.

Full training is provided when you register to be a Licensed Career Intelligence or CareerSmart practitioner or educator.

Check our training dates for 2022

Becoming a CareerSmart Licensed Practitioner

CareerEQ wants all career specialists who use the assessment to understand the integrity and theory behind the content of our career development tools and to be trained in the correct and ethical use of them. Although every practitioner has their own way of working, we endorse professional standards of practice in order to protect the clients you work with and the integrity of the assessments.

career-SMART licensed practitioner

For more information and to register for our next Licensing workshop please visit here:
For more information or a full list of references to the research that sits behind the assessment please email me: kaye.avery@careereq.nz
The CareerSmart assessment journey is an adventure worth taking – do join us!

Kaye Avery, Director, CareerEQ, 0064 21474765