Penelope Trunk’s blog post today on what college students should do now offers some great wisdom. But the one tip that really caught my eye was her suggestion to take a Myers-Briggs test to understand what you’re good at. She also suggests that if your score doesn’t agree with your chosen major, you should change it.
I applaud taking assessment tests as early as high school—they can provide some direction about a career path when little exists. I would, however, caution against jumping to immediate conclusions based on a test score. For example, the test Trunk cites is not an actual Myers-Briggs test, but an approximation. The good part is that you can take it online and it’s free; the bad part is that it may not reflect your most accurate results. In my case, for example, it gave me a different type than the actual MBTI I’ve taken in the past.
And as far as changing your major to suit your type? I would say that it very much depends. For example, if your major is pre-professional and your MBTI score doesn’t fit, you may want to consider making a change in the future. But I would gather more data first. You should gain some experience through internships, volunteer work and informational interviews before taking such a bold step.
If your major is not pre-professional, and your career path is under development, it may not matter anyway. Your career choice will likely evolve over time, and although your MBTI score can be informative this is not information that is black and white.
Check out my favorite book on the subject, called Do What You Are. It offers perspective and career advice for all of the MBTI types, so you can decide whether your score is accurate for you—or not.