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Latitude: The Career Test Assessment

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Tricia Bradley has two talented kids, but because of the high-cost of college, she wanted them to think long and hard about what they want to study.

"I know so many lawyers who wish they weren't lawyers," explained Tricia Bradley.

Ann Hutchinson has the same concern about her son Spencer, who is a high school junior in Miami.

"He's expressed some interest in the medical field," said Hutchinson.

To find out if their kids were on the right track, both moms had them take a new online assessment tool called Latitude. It's designed for teens and young adults.

"We help them understand themselves in the context of work by assessing them on the 14 aptitudes or natural abilities that are most important to career choice," said Brad Miller of Latitude.

"It's not like a standardized test," explained Spencer Hutchinson. "I think it's really good for people who are either certain about what they want to do, or are completely lost."

When Spencer's results came back, medical was definitely a good choice for him.

"Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Orthodonist, dietitian/nutritionist," Spencer said as he listed the medical fields for which he tested well.

But there was also a surprise career Spencer'd never considered.

"Climate change analyst! Like where'd that come from?" asked Spencer. "But it said I had a great fit for it."

Carter Bradley, who is mostly interested in music and sports thought the test was spot on when it suggested he pursue musical composing. But he was stunned when Latitude suggested he look at a career as a fireman, art director and medical engineer.

"I had never thought of going into medicine but when I looked at the description it intrigued me a little bit," said Carter.

Carter's sister Lilly is already in college studying to be a biomedical engineer.

"My mom said take this test. I want to make sure this is really what you should be doing," Lilly explained.

Sure enough... the test came back as a great match for Lilly's bio-medical major.

"I'd like her to be able to consider other possibilities before it's too late... before we put like $250,000 into an education," said Lilly's mother Tricia.

After taking the Latitude test, Spencer knows what not to waste his tuition money on. The test not only told him what his strengths were but his weaknesses too. He scored lowest in the conventional category.

"People with a high conventional preference can be found in professions like accounting, administration, banking, business, database administration, economics, engineering, finance, investment, payroll, pharmacy, purchasing, statistics," said Spencer.

At the University of Miami's Career Center, where they do their own testing for free, Christian Garcia, the Executive Director, said it's OK for kids to enter college with an undeclared major.

"Students change their majors all the time sometimes 3 to 7 times in their college career. You have to trust the process and trust that students will eventually find something that they're interested in," said Garcia.

Even Spencer's mom took the Latitude test! After being a stay at home mom for 10-years... she's contemplating getting back into the workforce.

"Fortunately it did reaffirm what I spent my career doing, which was nice to know," said Ann Hutchinson. "I was in consumer packaged good marketing."

Clearly this is just another tool in the toolbox to help parents and students contemplating a career or a career change. The cost is $399.


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