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Is it Your Passion or Your Genes? Uncovering "Best Fit" to Tell Your Career Story


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Dr. Feller is a trend setter in career education. In an interview with UCLA instructor and GuidedPath President, Cyndy McDonald, Dr. Rich Feller discussed why interest-only assessment is a social justice issue that many educators are not aware of. He shares how reducing “exposure bias”, identifying natural and stable aptitudes, and unfolding a person's personal storytelling is an alternative, more accurate, career advising approach.  He presented his research from these slides. See full interview at

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Is it Your Passion or Your Genes? Uncovering "Best Fit" to Tell Your Career Story

  1. 1. 2018 Professional Development Series for GuidedPath Is it Your Genes or Passion? Uncovering “Best Fit” to Tell Your Career Story By Dr. Rich Feller, Professor & Career Specialist Presented on Jan. 30, 2018 in Interview with Cyndy McDonald, President of GuidedPath Trend Setters in Education Jan. 2018
  2. 2. 2 Measured/Performance APTITUDES SelfReported INTERESTS LOW HIGH HIGH Struggle Fit Examine tension, challenges, and rewards of using low natural aptitudes within high interest work environments Best Fit Use natural aptitudes and be rewarded by spending time/focus within satisfying activities LOW Draining Fit Explore and field test how you would be distracted and tired not using your natural aptitudes spending time on less satisfying activities Extrinsic Reward Fit Examine intrinsic rewards, boredom and challenges of using natural aptitudes within low interest work environments LOW HIGH HIGH LOW Keys to BEST FIT = 1. Interests & Aptitude 2. Chasing “Internal Motivation”
  3. 3. Population Summary Geography • State of Georgia Public Schools (Rural, Urban, and Suburban) Demographics • 11,392 students (93% from 10th-11th grades) Industries • Technology • Healthcare • Manufacturing • Construction Summary Statistics • 51.7% Female • 51.7% Minority • 52.5% Free or reduced price lunch
  4. 4. Aligning with High Demand Careers Technology User Support Specialist QA Engineer Computer Hardware Engineer Computer Programmer Computer Systems Analyst Network Administrator Healthcare Licensed Nurse Radiologic Technician Lab Technician Cardiovascular Tech Medical Records Tech Pharmacy Tech Radiologic Technologist Surgical Technologist Registered Nurse Manufacturing Product Safety Engineer Electrical Engineering Tech Industrial Engineer Technician Product Ops First Line Supervisor Electronics Engineering Technologist Machine Tool Programmer Machinist Construction Construction and Building Supervisor Architectural Drafter Civil Engineering Tech Construction Manager Electrical Engineer Cost Estimator Electrical Drafter Plumber Electrician +5 others
  5. 5. Measuring Aptitudes Identifies a Larger, Gender-Neutral Talent Pool • no significant gender differences in aptitudes • Aptitude measures identified 3.4x the number of females with career fit for these key industries vs. interest-only 3 . 4 x 22% % of Total Male or Female Student Population 52% 77% 81% 4526 4453 1317 3015 M
  6. 6. • high aptitude talent pool was distributed equally across all races and ethnicities • aptitude measures identified almost 2.5x the number of blacks as a high aptitude fit • aptitude measures identified 2x the number of white and Hispanic students Measuring Aptitudes Identifies a Larger, Race-Inclusive Talent Pool 33% 43% 31% 43% 80% 79% 79% 78% % of Total Student Population for Each Race 770 842 2987 4380 319 461 1208 2334
  7. 7. Analysis of Top 50 Most Frequent Career Recommendations made to 11,478 Georgia public school students based on Aptitudes and Interests Interest-Based Surveys Steer Students Away From the Economy Students gain more exposure to real, in-demand careers. SOLVING AMERICA’S WORKFORCE GAP SOCIAL & ARTISTIC Such as: Arts & Entertainment, Education, Social Work & Lifesciences ECONOMIC HIGH-DEMAND Such as: Architecture & Engineering, Computer Technology, Construction, Transportation & Logistics Aptitudes Align Talent with High-Demand Jobs THE PROOF| Aligns Labor Supply and Demand
  8. 8. HIGH INTEREST HIGH APTITUDE 45% 53% 22% 53% HIGH INTEREST HIGH APTITUDE 32% 61% 5% 51% Male Female HIGH INTEREST HIGH APTITUDE 32% 84% 53% 83% 10.2x more females Identified SOLVING AMERICA’S WORKFORCE GAP *Shows percentage of the total corresponding sub-population Computer Technology, Architecture and Engineering Healthcare Construction, Manufacturing, Maintenance, Transportation % INDUSTRY LOOK| YouScience uncovered a larger, more diverse workforce 2.4x more females Identified 2.6x more males Identified