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Aptitudes and Interests

We know there are a plethora of career assessment tools available. Generally, each tool measures a students interests or aptitudes. A few use both. On this page, we'll provide insight about both aptitudes and interests and explain the approach we take with the Career Aptitude and Outlook Assessment (CAOA) - and why.

Distinguishing Aptitudes and Interests


Aptitudes are natural abilities and result from a person's inherent design and early development. Aptitudes do not change (like interests can); research shows aptitudes stabilize at around age fourteen, and remain relatively consistent for the rest of a person’s 80 (or so) years they spend here on Earth. Aptitudes are not related to what you know or what you have learned. The Career Aptitude and Outlook Assessment can provide an objective source of information about your natural talents, abilities, and strengths empowering you to make wise educational and career planning decisions.


Interests result from what you do, what you learn, who you know, and what you experience. Interests are influenced by outside factors. They change greatly from year to year (or month to month) as your knowledge and experiences change. Choosing a career based solely on interests is limited by a person's education, experience, and relationshipsand is not a decision making process we recommend concerning choices that impact your entire life.

Our Approach with the CAOA

We recognize that a person's aptitudes are part of their God-given design (see Psalm 139:13-14 and Ephesians 2:10). We also recognize because of our unique design and the free will He has given each of us, we have interests and desires (see Psalm 37:4).

Therefore, our approach is to understand both aptitudes AND interests placing a greater weight on unchanging aptitudes. The CAOA uses 16 assessment activities. Of those, 15 assess aptitudes and 1 assesses interests. We have found this to be a good balance for discovering the career paths that best fit you.

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