Colleges Try to Give Career Advice by Virtual Inkblot Test

A new company is updating the idea of using an inkblot test to help college students choose a career.

Researchers at the company, Woofound Inc., have built an application for students that uses their reactions to a series of images to predict their personalities and to suggest careers tailored to their preferences. The creators also plan to have the application suggest what degrees they should pursue and what extracurricular activities they should join.

The project is part of a wave of technology applications that colleges are testing to help track students into fields that fit their interests.

While using the Woofound Career Module, students sift through 84 slides of images with words associated, such as a picture of a tent along with the word “camping,” or a picture of a man painting along with the phrase “creative expression.” Students click either “Me” or “Not Me” in response to each image.

After students make all of their selections, the application returns a list of seven possible personality categories. For instance, “inventors” are “creative and take an ‘out of the box’ approach to work,” while “action-takers” are “hands-on-doers.”

Based on the chosen categories, an algorithm matches the students with careers they might be interested in. The site then gives them information on what each career entails. The team working on the project plans to provide a list of majors, course offerings, and extracurricular activities specific to the student’s campus that correspond to the careers the application suggests.

In a sense, the process resembles a high-tech Rorschach test, a psychological tool, dating to the 1920s, that uses interpretations of inkblots to gauge personality types.

Woofound has formed partnerships with the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and Towson University, which will roll out the application in September. UMBC is getting a free trial of the service, but the company says it is still figuring out how much it will charge colleges. <Read more.>

Via Timothy Sandoval, The Chronicle of Higher Ed.

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