General FAQs for Career Direct® Guidance System

1. What is an assessment and how can it help me?

An assessment is a series of questions or statements that one answers or responds to that are then scored by hand or computer. The results are provided in a report that measures or gives feedback on the particular topic of the assessment. A Career Assessment gives information about careers and helps one make wise career-related decisions.

2. With all the other career assessments out there, why did you come up with Career Direct® ?

Our co-founder, Larry Burkett, noted that during the many years that he was counseling families on their finances, he frequently observed people in career fields that did not match their talents and abilities. It concerned him greatly that so many people were not aware of their strengths and, therefore, were not being good stewards of their talents. This resulted in his vision for what is now Career Direct® .

3. What makes CareerDirect® unique?

In Larry Burkett’s vision for helping people to be aware of their talents and abilities, he wanted to start with biblical principles of work. Although there were many assessments, few, if any, approached work from a biblical perspective. Fewer still covered all four aspects of career selection (Personality, Interests, Skills, and Values). Most only cover one or two of these areas. More than one test is usually necessary to cover all of the components of a complete personal profile. Career Direct® was developed based on biblical principles and designed to provide a full profile in one assessment report. Today, Career Direct® is still one of the only assessments that profile all four aspects of career selection.

4. How does Career Direct® compare to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or other well-known assessments on the market?

Components of Career Direct® provide information similar to other well-known assessments which cover those components such as personality, interests, or skills. However, Career Direct® includes personality, interests, skills, values, stress, and financial management factors in one assessment, making it one of the most comprehensive assessments available.

The results from the personality portion of Career Direct® are correlated significantly with two well-known personality assessments, (Hogan Personality Assessment and Costa and McCrae’s Neo-PI), and compare favorably with results from other personality assessments such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, but is more comprehensive.

The results from the interests section of Career Direct® are correlated significantly with the Strong Vocational Interest Inventory and compare favorably with other interests-based assessments such as Campbell and the Self-directed Search.

5. How long does it take to complete the Career Direct® assessment?

The assessment itself takes from forty-five minutes to one hour on the average. Individuals utilizing all of the Career Direct® Application and Career Direct® Resources in the full Guidance System including the Job Sampler, Action Plan (interactive with O*NET, U.S. Department of Labor database), Questionnaires, and Audio Instructions components will need additional time.

6. Why is a financial organization like Crown in the career guidance business?

Stewardship of talents related to work is directly related to stewardship of finances derived from work. True stewardship starts with the management of one's own strengths and talents.

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7. How long have you been in the career assessment business?

Larry Burkett initiated the Career Pathways program as part of Christian Financial Concepts in 1990. The program began with an assessment made up of several pre-existing assessments. After extensive research and development, the first version of what is now Career Direct® was introduced in 1995 as a paper assessment which was computer scored and printed. In 1999, the first CD-ROM version (1.8) was produced for use on individual computers. In 2003, this was revised and re-introduced with electronic documents and audio CDs in version 2.1. The Internet-based Career Direct® Complete Guidance System was released in 2006 and includes several streamlined improvements from the former CD-ROM software version.

8. How many people have taken Career Direct® ?

An exact number is not possible since scoring is no longer done exclusively by the ministry; however, based on projections of individual and institutional licenses produced, it is estimated that well over 120,000 students and adults have taken Career Direct® .

9. I would like to buy additional administrations for my family. How do I do that?

Each online assessment is a one-time use assessment. Follow the purchase instructions online to purchase as many assessments as you need.

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Cost

10. Why does Career Direct® cost what it does?

The assessment is more comprehensive than most of the other career-oriented assessments, which only measure one or two dimensions. Two or more alternative assessments are usually required to cover all that is reported in a singleCareer Direct®assessment. The cost of Career Direct® is competitively priced and in many cases cheaper than other comparable assessments.

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Research History - Validity and Reliability

11. How valid is Career Direct® ?

The factors from the personality portion of Career Direct® were validated against and are correlated significantly with similar factors in the Hogan Personality Inventory and Costa and McCrae’s NEO-PI .

The factors from the interests section of Career Direct® were validated against and are correlated significantly with similar factors in the Strong Interest Inventory .

12. How reliable is Career Direct® ?

Reliability tests are well above acceptable levels as shown in the internal consistency and test-retest reliability measures below.

Personality Section
Internal Consistency - Cronbach Alpha ranged from .86 to .94 for the personality general factor scales, and .76 to .92 for the personality subfactor scales (n = 4463).

Test-retest Reliability - mean correlation and range:

Time Frame
1 week (n = 100)
3-6 weeks (n = 166)
6 months (n = 75)
1 year (n = 50)
Personality General Factors
.91, .86 to .95
.87, .85 to .90
.84, .81 to .86
.82, .80 to .86
Subfactors

.83, .65 to .90
.78, .60 to .87
.61, .58 to .87


Interests and Skills Sections

Internal Consistency
1. Activities consist of 36 activity clusters with internal consistency (Cronbach Alpha) ranging from .78 to .93.

2. Occupations consist of 22 occupational clusters with internal consistency (Cronbach Alpha) ranging from .76 to .90.

3. Activity, Occupations, and Subject factors were combined into 21 General Interest clusters with internal consistency (Cronbach Alpha) ranging from .82 to .93.

4. Skills consist of 14 skill clusters with internal consistency (Cronbach Alpha) ranging from .70 to .90.

Test – retest Reliability - mean correlation, and range of correlations:

Time Frame -
One month (n = 166)
Six months (n = 75)
One year (n = 50)
Interests General Factors
.88, .81 to .93
.87, .70 to .93
.86, .68 to .92

13. What is the research history behind Career Direct® ?

Briefly, the assessment was developed over a ten-year period (starting in 1989) using standard psychometric principles and testing thousands of people. The assessment is not based or derived from existing instruments but was developed from the item level using factor analysis and other statistical analyses to develop the factors and scoring.

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Uses of the assessment

14. I took the assessment a few years ago. Would it help me to take Career Direct® again?

Although the assessment is stable over time, some areas change depending on your life experiences, training and education. Before making major life decisions, it is always wise to base those decisions on the most current information. It can be compared to taking an X-Ray. Even though every X-Ray reflects your skeleton, every set of X-Rays are unique because it shows growth, accidents (broken bones) or diseases that you may have. Taking a Career Direct in strategic times in your life will help you with wise career decision making. 

15. Will  Career Direct® tell me what job I should be in?

No, and no assessment can do that or should do that. Career Direct® will help you identify & research occupations to narrow your choices to those that best match your personal pattern, but your specific life situations may influence the specific direction that you decide to pursue. The truth is that there may be several job's that you can pursue and making a wise decision may have to include multiple factors for you to consider.

16. Will Career Direct® get me a job?

No, however Career Direct® will help you determine the best type of occupation to pursue and give you directions on how to proceed in your job search. It will identify the area's you should pursue and make it clear which areas you should avoid.  

17. Who would benefit the most from using Career Direct® ?

People of all ages can benefit from Career Direct® whether they are preparing for a career, entering the workforce for the first time, re-entering the workforce, or seeking to maximize their God-given talents and abilities in their current situation. The preferred age to start using Career Direct® is 15 years of age.

18. Are there keys points in a person’s life when you would recommend he/she take an assessment?

Certainly at the beginning of career selection is a critical time, either in high school, or early in the college/university experience, in order to select an appropriate college/university or technical school, major and course of study. Before one enters the workforce, Career Direct® can help narrow the focus of jobs that will best match one's pattern. Mid-career assessments can help to make critical mid-course corrections to help best use the prime income-earning years. And even at retirement age, it is helpful to know what options for paid or volunteer work would best use the talents and accumulated experience to benefit others and provide enjoyable and satisfying work.

Disabilities

19. Does Career Direct® help people who have disabilities?

Career Direct® has not been tested with a disability population and does not take into account any adjustments or allowances needed for particular disabilities. A qualified counselor experienced in the particular disability is the best choice for help in determining career direction.

20. I’m currently suffering from depression. Will taking Career Direct® at this time help me and provide me with accurate feedback?

Depression can affect and possibly mask accurate feedback from any assessment. Professional assistance and advice should be sought before making any major life decision in this situation.

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