Asked Questions About Career Planning
1. What is an aptitude profile, and why is it helpful
to know mine?
An aptitude profile refers to the unique relationship of
one aptitude to another. While the implications of each ability
is significant in understanding your top talents, the profile
provides your consultant a snapshot of what types of work
tasks, and therefore occupational choices, incorporate your
full range of abilities. This results in a competitive advantage
and the greatest potential for satisfaction.
Are aptitude tests the same as intelligence tests?
One of the differences in these tests lies more in the way
they are used. Intelligence tests are typically used as a
selection tool. Your overall composite scores are high enough
to get you into something, or low enough to keep you out.
While they may measure some similar abilities they usually
aren’t intended to measure a broader range of distinct
individual talents. Using the aptitude profile offers a more
holistic approach ensuring that all your natural abilities
are incorporated in the recommended careers. For example,
someone with an overall high intelligence score could successfully
complete an Accounting major—but if they also had a
high level of creativity—they would not be satisfied
doing that type of work over the long term.
3. How do your tests differ from the ACT/SAT?
The ACT/SAT measures are more knowledge-based and measure
only academic aptitudes. These are intended to predict success
in a particular college curriculum. Career
Vision’s Ball Aptitude Battery® not only includes
the general academic aptitudes, but more importantly includes
aptitudes that give a more complete understanding of a person’s
abilities: different types of creativity, spatial abilities,
memory abilities, finger dexterity, reasoning styles and attention
to details. Put simply, it’s the difference between
a black and white picture, and one in full color.
4. How do I know if Career Vision’s program is appropriate
for my son/daughter?
If your child is in the small percentage of high school
or college students who know exactly what they want to do
and have demonstrated that they have a realistic understanding
of the career and what it will take to be successful—you
may not need us. However, families that use our service gain
direction and an increased level of confidence for both the
parent and the student.
For individuals with significant disabilities, our program
is not the best choice. While we are able to provide great
insight in many cases—we evaluate situations on a case
by case basis. Additionally, our program is not recommended
for students who are not conversant in English.
5. My son took career-planning tests at school. Why should
he go through your program?
Our career planning model is designed to incorporate the
best assessments and the individual attention necessary to
help you understand how to integrate and use the assessment
results to make good career decisions.
Typically high school and college counselors do the best
they can with their many, varied responsibilities. The time
they can commit to each student is limited to course selection,
college applications and other issues. For career guidance
they typically use self-report assessment instruments that
focus on interests and personal preferences. They often provide
students with reports and provide a group summary about what
the results mean. Their perspective on abilities comes from
student grades and performance on standardized academic tests
and your child’s personal estimation of their talents.
Self-estimates of abilities are shown to be less accurate
than objective measures, such as the Ball
6. Which package is right for me (my son/daughter)?
The right package depends on a number of factors; most critical
is the commitment of time and geography. All three
packages will provide useful tools in the quest for career
and life satisfaction. Please call us to discuss your needs.
7. Will Career Vision’s process make my son/daughter
Happier is tough. The long-term effect is that folks who
enjoy their jobs tend to find greater satisfaction in other
aspects of their life. Our process identifies talents, provides
direction and we are available to help with career decisions
across their life span. With good, objective information and
the expertise of Career Vision, our clients are confident
they can make adjustments when their work circumstances change.
8. Who are Career Vision’s competitors?
Our biggest competition is people who use trial and error
to find the best career path for themselves. Also, young adults
make choices that are often influenced by their peers or the
media, rather than objective information about their abilities.
Other sources of competition include individual practitioners
who provide career assistance primarily to adults, and the
free services students can access from their school guidance
counselors or college career services.
9. My son/daughter doesn’t want career counseling. How
can I convince him/her that they need it?
Kids are tested to death and seldom get real insight from
their efforts (and often find themselves judged). This information
is for them, and about them. It is one of the few times that
objective, positive information focuses a discussion on their
potential and options for their future. If they strongly object,
they may be afraid of what they will hear, or are not ready
to think about this big step. Check
out the student testimonials to see what other students
have to say about the process. Consider completing the free
quiz to help you gauge your child’s readiness for
career discussions. And be sure to call us to discuss your
10. My son/daughter is clueless about declaring a college
academic major. How will Career Vision help us make that decision?
There are an overwhelming number of college majors to select
from, and college majors often don’t align well with
career options. There are a number of factors to consider.
Some students will easily transition a liberal arts degree
to a career—others will be more successful with a degree
aligned with their career or a professional credential. Our
process really helps you understand your requirements and
can even suggest the best school environments for your success.
11. How much does an Advantage Package cost?
About the same as an ACT prep course or a summer camp program,
and a lot less than an extra semester of college. See which
one of our three
packages works for you.
12. We have 3 teenagers. Do you offer a family discount?
Yes. There’s a tremendous benefit when the entire family
understands career planning and aptitudes, and has a vocabulary
for talking about each child’s unique profile. Please
call us to discuss your specific situation.
13. We don’t live in the Chicago area. Where else do
you offer the testing?
Career Vision offers a Silver
Advantage Package for students or families that are not
able to come to our Glen Ellyn office. We have worked with
clients from across the U.S. and Canada. Please give us a
call at 630.469.6270 to see what options will be best for
14. How do I know this will work?
This is a reasonable, but hard question. Measuring the impact
of learning is not easy. Our
packages offer direction and insights that last for a
lifetime. The results are both immediate and long-term as
decisions are made and plans implemented. But we have many
that are a testament to the value of our programs.
15. I have taken lots of tests in my life. How is this different
from the others?
Most tests are for a grade. Our assessments are about discovering
your potential and how to best achieve it. While there are
right answers, the results are not good or bad, nor pass/fail.
They are guideposts for career direction and decisions. In
fact, a low score in some can be an advantage in certain careers.
The other thing that’s different is that some of these
tests are actually fun!
16. My student gets help at their high school. What can you
do differently than what their guidance counselor does?
We actively support the work of school counselors. Unfortunately
most have heavy caseloads; the typical counselor is responsible
for almost 500 students in a given year. Our sole purpose
is to attend to your child and your child alone. We encourage
students to share their results and career recommendations
with a school counselor, especially when exploring colleges.
17. Our family has very hectic schedules. Do you have flexible
times for taking the tests?
Yes, we try to work with your needs. However, we urge you
to consider this small investment a priority in creating the
best foundation for your child’s career goals.
18. I am not a good test taker. Will that alter my test outcome?
Most folks say they aren’t good test takers. In fact,
we expect some tests to be harder for some and easier for
others —that’s what individual differences are.
There are a variety of tests and even those who say they test
poorly have been able to see where their real talents lie.
In cases of extreme anxiety or total non-performance—it
could be a problem. Many people have said that they actually
enjoyed taking our tests and that the time passed quickly.
You don’t need to study or prepare. Get a good night’s
rest and try your best.
19. Who will I talk to about my results? What are their qualifications?
Our career consultants
all have a minimum of a master’s degree and are certified
to interpret our assessments. Your consultant will meet with
you before your Career Consulting Session to tailor your results
to your situation.
20. Once the testing is over, and my child has received their
results, can we come back to talk with you, if we still have
Yes, many of our clients return at the crossroads of their
careers, and some come for an annual career check-up. This
is what effective career management is all about. Part of
our process is to try to touch base and see how our clients
are progressing. We take a personal interest in your success.
21. Can I sit in on my child’s feedback session?
We require minors to have a parent present, and strongly
encourage it for those who are older. This is an informative
and fun session. Many of our families see it as a rite of
passage that really kicks off some great career planning discussions
for the entire family.
22. My child has learning disabilities (ADD, ADHD); can they
still take your test?
Possibly. Please call our office to discuss your individual
23. Will your testing process definitely tell my child “the
answer” to their career questions, or are there next
We will provide specific recommendations for you to consider
and explore. We also share our career decision matrix to guide
your evaluation steps. We don’t tell people what they
should be. In fact, our consulting sessions are interactive.
New insights may come out that prompt consideration of other
career options. The more you learn, the more you contribute
to your choices.
24. Can you help me find a new job?
We work with our alumni in identifying the types of work
they might want to go after. Additionally, we are a resource
for job search techniques and an advocate for area job search
groups. However, we are not in the job placement business.
25. How long have you been in business?
The Ball Foundation was established in 1975 and Career Vision
26. Why should my 17-year old, high school senior go through
Career Vision’s program now, rather than later —
maybe after college?
Many families that work with us say, “I wish we had
done this earlier.” What we have observed is that many
high schoolers and parents aren’t fully prepared to
consider careers. They don’t realize the critical connections
between career choice and selecting the right college and
major. Many college students find themselves pushed against
the wall to declare a major or pull together enough credentials
to graduate, even within five years. Career Vision advocates
a “Start early, start smart,” approach for parents
and teens to get students on the right path in high school
or college so they can experience success in school and their
first jobs as well as a sense of satisfaction with the progress
in their lives.
27. How can Career Vision help me with my career change?
We love to work with experienced workers. Most folks consider
career change when they are dissatisfied. Our first goal is
to use our assessments to help determine the underlying causes
for the poor fit. Too often people jump back into what is
familiar and repeat a pattern. Sometimes it’s not the
career, but the company or the role that one has. Our second
goal is to determine the full range of career options, and
then narrow the focus to what is realistic depending on your
28. If I know my personality and interests, why would I need
to take a personality test?
Aptitude and interests are essential. Next are values. Personality
encompasses some of interest and values. Our
model is based on research and experience. The results
of our assessments provide the best baseline to build the
criteria for recommendations and to anchor discussions. The
personality assessment is included in two of our three packages.
29. I know my abilities, so how could your program
Some people may have a good sense of how their academic performance
(abilities in math and reading) compare to their peers. But
that perception is often contingent on who their fellow students
are. Actually in high performing schools, students might underestimate
their potential. Research suggests that self-rating of abilities
is much less accurate than objective measures. Understanding
your abilities can be extremely valuable. For example, there
are several kinds of memory aptitudes that we measure. Different
patterns of scores on those tests (high, mid-range or low)
often mean differences in our recommendations for career and
work environments that would be a best fit for you.