Career Exploration background

Why is career exploration important?

Since the start of the millennium, the career marketplace has radically changed and, as a result, career exploration is also being transformed to meet the changing needs of the world of work. The focus now must be placed on developing transferable skills. Providing students with the skills to perform work in a number of roles and to function in diverse work environments requires the introduction and development of transferable skills. Transferable skills are basic work-related skills that can be applied in a number of occupational settings. Examples of transferable skills are: adhering to guidelines, motivating others, persuading, and decision-making.

Career exploration is now becoming a fully integrated approach. Students can no longer receive their sole exposure to careers in a session with the guidance counsellor, or at a career fair. Extending career exploration activities beyond the walls of the school pr college is important and creating opportunities for students to engage with business professionals should be encouraged. Facilitating discussions about students’ skills and interests with their parents is essential.

What is PRISM Career Explorer?

PRISM Career Explorer is a highly convenient, easy to use, online resource that provides instructive, insightful information that can empower you to take control of your career exploration journey - one step at a time.

The theory that underpins PRISM Career Explorer is simple and intuitive: - people who enjoy their jobs are normally more responsive to their work situations, perform better, and possess the drive and motivation to succeed. It is counterproductive for a person to perform a role that does not match his or her behavioural preferences because, not only the individual’s level of enjoyment and job satisfaction decreases, but so does job performance.

PRISM Career Explorer gives you powerful insights into the type of work that is likely to be right for you. It can help you to find out what your work-related interests are and what kinds of jobs you can learn to do well. It can also help you to recognise where you natural strengths are and where you might need more training and development.

Why does PRISM Career Explorer focus on neuroscience rather than psychology?

All that we do, all that we are, comes from our brain. To enable us to survive, the brain has evolved to learn and to be taught Arguably the most important discovery for education from the field of neuroscience is that the brain is highly adaptive, a property called plasticity. Our brains continuously adapt to the environments where we live and work, including school and home.

Since genetics and experience interact to shape the brain, each person’s brain is unique. We all have a collection of different abilities, and one person may find one academic subject difficult, and yet enjoy and do well in another. Research recognizes that each person has a complex profile of preferences - likes and dislikes.

Some students do well in some subjects, but less well in others because these differences are grounded in individual differences in the brain. Our genetic predispositions interact with learning experiences to give rise to a wide range of individual differences. We are born with certain genetic tendencies. As we interact with the world around us, these experiences can reinforce or counteract our genetic inclinations..

Since genetics and experience interact to shape the brain, each person’s brain is unique. We have a collection of different abilities, and one person may struggle in one area, such as mathematics, and yet thrive in another, such as languages. Research does not support the simplistic notion that each student is either intelligent or not; rather, it recognizes that each person has a complex profile of strengths and limitations.

One thing, however, is certain: all brains demonstrate plasticity. Our learning difficulties in a subject should not, therefore, be perceived as unchangeable, but rather as challenges to overcome for us because our brains can change and improve through learning.

There are two fundamental things that brains want: to be safe and happy. We use two parts of our survival machine to achieve these goals: our fear system and our pleasure system.

It is important to remember that the fear and pleasure machinery in our brains are at work all the time. To achieve our brain’s desire to be safe and happy, we should start by learning about ourselves and to identify exactly what we want and what we don’t want to do. An easy and effective way you can do this is to use the PRISM Career Explorer system to compile a comprehensive report on your work and behavioural preferences, and to identify which work environments will enhance your personal performance.

Why does PRISM Career Explorer enable users to match their preferences with college majors?

Although it is possible for students who do not have a good behavioural preference match with their major, can be successful in their studies, there is a clear link between behavioural preference and success in corresponding a major.

According to the Journal of Vocational Behaviour (Vol 69, No1), a significant study by Professor Terence Tracey (Arizona State University) and Professor Steven Robbins (San Diago University) involving 80,574 students enrolled in 87 colleges, showed that good grades were related to having a major that reflects a students own behavioural preference and work interests. Even more significantly, the research showed that such a match predicted overall GPA after five years better than ACT scores (similar to the SAT tests). Finally, the research showed that the results were valid irrespective of ethnic background or gender.

Other research, summarized in 2006 by John C. Smart (University of Memphis), Kenneth A. Feldman (SUNY at Stony Brook), and Corinna A. Ethington (also University of Memphis), found that in students who showed a high degree of behavioural preference match with their majors upon entering college, the personality aspects that matched the environment were reinforced by the experience of being in the major. And this may be considered a sign of success.

But Smart et al. found a different pattern of success for those students who entered a major that was not a good match with their behavioural preference. The experience of being in the major for four years caused these students to have increases in the abilities and interests that were a good match and to show stability or decline (sometimes dramatic) in the abilities and interests that were not a good match.

What does PRISM Career Explorer give me?


  • Instant access to a database of around 1000 careers
  • Unlimited exploration of the roles in the database
  • Access to the unique PRISM Career Explorer questionnaire
  • Unique Career Explorer report
  • Instant access to a database of around 500 college majors


£36 (inc. VAT)

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