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Explore Careers with My Next Move

by Mary Mazzoni on August 21, 2011

Want to research careers for free online? My Next Move , recently rolled out by the US Department of Labor, is a great resource. The site delivers comprehensive career information from  O*Net. using plain language and appealing, easy-to-use web design. It’s a real break-through.

So, What’s O*Net?

It’s the nation’s source of occupational information. O*Net’s massive data base includes comprehensive information about more than 950 job titles. Including information about work tasks, work environments, wages, labor market demand, needed education, training and experience, and more. With links by zip code to external sites for related job postings and education and training programs. Every computerized career exploration program draws data from O*Net.

Since 2001, anyone could access O*Net directly online. But the O*Net site is complex and uses standardized descriptors many people find difficult to understand. That’s why many schools, parents and job seekers pay for commercial career exploration programs so they can access O*Net data in a more user-friendly way.

Now My Next Move offers user-friendly access to O*Net data for free!

My Next Move Features

Learn all about the site from these support resources offered by O*Net Academy:

Fact Sheet

For a quick fact sheet about My Next Move, click here.

Screen Shot “Desk Aid”

Click here for a handy two-page “At-A-Glance” pdf  including screenshots with notes.

15 Minute Webinar

Click here for a very helpful “How-To” Webinar with screenshots and audio narrative.

Interest Profiler (Career Interest Assessment)

By clicking “Start” in the “Tell Us What You Like To Do” box on the My Next Move homepage, you can access the Interest Profiler career interest assessment. This 60 question assessment is a shorter version of the long form (180 question) Interest Profiler on the O*Net site.  Both forms of the Interest Profiler are based on the six Holland Types used in many career interest assessments.

Studies demonstrate comparable reliability and validity for both forms. A report of findings can be found here. However, to improve reliability for the short form version, a five point response scale rather than a three point response scale is used.


For each of 60 work activities, the respondent chooses from the following choices: Strongly Dislike, Dislike, Unsure, Like, Strongly Like.  It is helpful to limit the number of “unsure” responses. You may provide the respondent with clarifying information about the work activity so that s/he can make a choice.

Interest Only

Remember that this is an interest-only assessment. There are no “wrong” answers! Respondents should NOT consider whether they have the education, training or skills for the work activity item or whether the pay for that work activity would meet their needs. There will be opportunity to sort by eduction, training, skill and wage information later in the process.


Type is small, lines are close together, and eye-hand coordination is needed to click in small bubbles to respond. Feel free to read the items aloud and/or click responses for respondents who have vision, reading, fine motor, visual tracking or other related limitations.

Students with intellectual disabilities may find the five point response format confusing. Teaching and practicing the terms and concepts before taking the assessment would help. However, for some students, non-reading career interest assessments (such as Your Employment Selections) that are normed for persons with intellectual disabilities are a better choice than Interest Profiler.

Education/Training Levels (Job Zones)

After responding to the 60 items, the last step before accessing links to specific related careers is to choose a Job Zone. This term relates to the level of education, training and experience needed for jobs. A description of each Job Zone can be found here. Your child should choose the Job Zone that most closely matches the level of education, training and experience he will have at the time he’s ready to enter the career.

Final Thoughts

My Next Move is an excellent tool for kids, parents, teachers, counselors and job seekers of every kind. Pay particular attention to careers with the yellow Bright Outlook designation, and be sure to check out the links to related education and training programs on each Career Report.

Real-Life Experience Needed

Remember, no one should make a career choice based solely on a career interest assessment or computer program. Real-life experiences are needed to verify your child’s interest in a career. This can be done through job shadowing, on-going mentoring with someone in the field, volunteering, or interning. In future posts, we’ll look at how these experiences can be developed through personal networking and collaborating with your child’s teacher and guidance counselor.

Specific Skill Information

My Next Move provides general information about the skills needed for each career. But more specific skills information is needed for effective transition planning. In future posts, we’ll look at how to analyze post-secondary placement tests to identify specific skills needed for success.  We’ll also look at how to use the Work Keys assessment to identify specific skills needed for particular careers.

For Now

Enjoy spending time on the site, learning about careers of interest to your child.  So much information right at your fingertips!

What Do You Think?

After you’ve had a chance to spend some time on My Next Move, please come back and leave a comment to let us know what you think. Your thoughts will be helpful to everyone else using the site!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Noreen Learn October 10, 2012 at 11:51 am

I took your assessment test and enjoyed the results. But you said that I can choose a job zone and view and print careers that match my profile. Your system did not let me do those two things. How do I go about getting those results?


Mary Mazzoni November 1, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Hi Noreen! The My Next Move site was developed by the U.S. Department of Labor.

In the “My Next Move Features” section of the post above, you will find links for a
15-Minute Webinar and a Screen Shot Desk Aid. These will show how to use the job zone feature and link to career information related to your interest assessment.

It’s always a great idea to talk about your interests with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor or mentor – and to “test-drive” your interests by job shadowing if you can. Let me know how things go on your career journey! All the best!


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