EDUCATION & SCHOOLS

New aptitude tests help match Utah students with careers

Apr 6, 2022, 1:48 PM | Updated: Jun 20, 2022, 12:46 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has a new tool to better help its high school students plan for their future.

The Utah Legislature funded these new aptitude tests, which show students what they’re actually good at, not just what they like, and matches it to high-demand jobs.

Teachers and students say the test is a game-changer.

High school seniors like Ved Munot have looming decisions.

“I was confused about my options,” he said. “I was thinking, should I do law, should I do business? Do I want to explore medicine a little?”

So he took a new aptitude test that showed his strengths.

“I’m much more confident I can do those career choices because they match my abilities,” Ved said.

It’s a tool developed by Utah company YouScience, helping students match their abilities with in-demand jobs.

“Everyone wants to be a singer or a dancer, and that’s great, that’s fun, but that’s not what the economy can support,” said YouScience CEO Edson Barton.

YouScience data from more than 23,000 Utah students shows young people have four times more aptitude in computer and tech jobs than interest.

Unfortunate, because one in seven jobs in Utah is in tech.

“Before, I used to think that I’m not capable of those kinds of things,” said student Elleona Worthen.

Elleona was thinking about a fashion career, but the test actually showed her natural talents are in management.

“And having YouScience say, wow, they think I can do that based on my strengths.”

“If you go into a career you’re good at, you’re going to make more money,” said Robert Scott, career coordinator at Skyline High School.

Good for student and state economies.

YouScience exposes students to a wider range of careers. Barton saw that need when his own daughter tested high in computer programming.

“She said, dad, that’s not me, that’s my brother,” he said. “It was heartbreaking, but eventually she took a course and it became her favorite course in college.”

Career counselors say the new test empowers students.

“They love the fact that, look at all these talents that I’m good at,” Scott said. “I’m not a nobody. I can do good things.”

“I know there are jobs out there for me that I could get soon, if I start my degree,” Elleona said.

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New aptitude tests help match Utah students with careers