Welcome to our career blog...

The Career Key's mission is to help people make the best career, college major, and self-employed choices. In this career blog, we share practical tips about:

- Making science-based career decisions throughout your life,
- Choosing a college major, training, or instructional program,
Choosing career clusters, fields or career pathways, and
- Deciding whether being self-employed is right for you.

The Career Key's Vice President, Juliet Wehr Jones, J.D., GCDF with input from Career Key author Dr. Lawrence K. Jones, discuss these topics with seriousness and a touch of humor.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Choose a Career and College Major with Holland's Theory, New Career Key Video Series

Learn how to choose a career or college major with Holland's Theory of Career Choice in a new YouTube video series "How to Achieve Career and College Success" from Career Key.

These short videos cover Dr. John Holland's six main ideas, including the Holland personality types (also known as Holland codes), Holland's work and education environments, and how to use the Holland hexagon. It's based on the popular Career Key web article on Holland's Theory of Career Choice.

How to Achieve Career and College Success Video Series

  • How to Achieve Career and College Success: Introduction
  • The Six Holland Personality Types
  • The Six Holland Environments
  • Holland Environments: searching for and interacting with them
  • The Holland Hexagon
  • Congruence: Making a Good Match

The series is created and presented by Career Key author and nationally recognized counseling psychologist, Dr. Lawrence K. Jones, NCC. It is followed by a series on good career decision making.

All these videos will appear soon in a new section of the Career Key website.

Subscribe to The Career Key's YouTube channel to get notified of new videos as they appear.

Friday, May 9, 2014

New College and Career Readiness Kit for School Counseling

Career Key's new college and career readiness kit is complimentary, designed for school counselors and other education and career development professionals. In this downloadable kit, we included free eBooks and learning activities related to helping students get college and career ready.

Topics covered:

  • Common Core Standards and school counseling
  • Choosing a college major in high school
  • Learning activities that combine ASCA and Common Core Standards
  • Meeting ASCA National Standards using career and college major exploration activities at the Career Key website.
Finally, there is a link to access a free trial of the Career Key career and college major test (a $150 value).

Related articles:

New Career Key Career Test Launched

Career Key's updated career test is now live! This scientifically valid, career interest inventory has a new design, an updated list of career options and now includes college majors and training programs. The Career Key test now helps those wondering "What should I major in?" There are over 400 careers and 700 majors, easy to explore by Holland personality type and Career Key work group of traits, skills and abilities. Each major is described with a link to external sources to find more information and the colleges that offer the major (no promotions or marketing).

Here is a sample report page:

To learn more about group purchases and the new group administration features, see our Group Purchase Discount.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Career Key Test's new version - a video demo for group customers

If you are interested in video demos of the new version of the Career Key test going live later this month, start with this video. It's specifically for Career Key's group customers. For more information about the new version of the Career Key test, visit Career Key's Group Discount page.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Holland Personality Type Patterns That Are Inconsistent - and Their Advantages

One part of using Holland's Theory of Career Choice to choose a career is the concept of choosing a compatible work environment, one that matches your strongest personality types. Most people are a combination of types, most often found close to one another on the Holland Hexagon. The hexagon shows the relationship between the types - the closer they are to one another, the more compatible.

But what if your strongest personality types are opposite each other on the hexagon, like Realistic-Social (RS) Investigative-Enterprising (IE), or Conventional-Artistic (CA)? These are sometimes referred to as inconsistent personality patterns. But don't be alarmed.

While these combinations are less common, they are normal. In fact, Career Key's author Dr. Lawrence K. Jones has an inconsistent pattern himself: Realistic-Social. His personal story also shows these characteristics.

To learn more about understanding and taking advantage of these kinds of personality type combinations, visit Career Key's articles:

If you're new to Holland's approach, then start with our Holland's Theory of Career Choice article. We plan on adding a short video about inconsistent personality patterns soon to Career Key's YouTube channel so please subscribe if you want to be notified when that comes out.

Is College Worth It? 6 Ways to Increase Chances of Success in College

More students and parents are asking themselves, is college is worth it? A recent Pew study visualized in TIME magazine finds more people questioning college's value, and yet statistics are clear that it is. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's 2014 report, "Are Recent College Graduates Finding Good Jobs?" shows compelling reasons to go to college. But the report raises valid concerns about underemployment after graduation and the differing value of certain college majors and skills in the labor market.

Like anything else, research and planning ahead give a big payoff in these types of life decisions.  In Career Key's new website article"Is College Worth It?", counseling psychologist Dr. Lawrence K. Jones, NCC looks at whether people are getting good jobs after graduation based on the latest statistics. Then he recommends how people can increase their chances of success after college graduation.

These recommendations include:

  1. Choose a major that matches your personality and interests.
  2. Consider choosing a major in high school before you choose a college.
  3. Be open to choosing a good job that does not require a 4 year degree.
  4. Have realistic employment expectations; Underemployment is a reality you may have to face.
  5. Be smart and make good decisions about your education plans using an effective decision making process.
  6. Be aware of how the nature of work is changing and plan ways you can respond and adapt.

For more about why college is worth it and what's behind these recommendations, visit Career Key's Choose a College Major section and "Is College Worth It?"

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Help Choosing a Major Needed More Than Ever

Statistics show that students need help choosing a major now more than ever.  The November 2013 ACT College Choice Report found that only about one-third (36%) of college bound students taking the ACT are choosing majors that fit their interests or Holland personality. And we know from personality-major match research, this will very likely negatively impact these students' success.

Research shows that students who do choose a major that fits their personality and interests, what we call a close “personality-major match,” are more likely to succeed in college with:
(1) higher grades;
(2) greater persistence in a major; and
(3) higher on-time graduation rates.

College completion rates continue to be low. According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 38 percent of students entering a 4 year college graduate in 4 years, 59 percent in six. About 40 percent drop out. (National Center for Education Statistics, 2013).

And there is a steep financial penalty to those who switch majors and delay graduation.  One study showed that those working toward a bachelor’s degree lose in earnings, on average, $50,000 (adjusted for inflation) for each additional year it takes to finish their degree.  In addition, many studies support increased salary and job satisfaction for people who choose a career that matches their personality.

So how can students make better decisions about majors? Career Key has several affordable resources students can use to make good education decisions:
Match Up! EBook, available in the Career Key Store
  1. Free eBook downloads: “Choosing a College Major Based on Your Personality: What does the research say?” We also have a special Professionals’ Guide to Personality College Major Match and Student Success for counselors, career development professionals, and educators.
  2. Career Key's unique eBook, Match Up! Your Personality to College Majors and Training Programs 2014. Used with results of the Career Key career test, it offers the only complete list of U.S. and Canadian majors and programs of study scientifically classified by Holland personality type – enabling a close personality-major match.
  3. Self-help articles like What is a College Major, Personality Major Match, Holland College Major Environments, and What are Liberal Arts Majors.