New Score Report Feature Sparks Career Possibilities

Next month, students who take the PSAT/NMSQT® and PSAT™ 8/9 will begin receiving their standardized test score reports. Imagine that moment. 

For students thinking about college after high school, the score report ignites consideration of their future planning journey. Now replay that moment for many students who, regardless of their career aspirations, may not start in a four-year program right after high school. How can we spark all students’ interest in the discovery of what’s possible?

All students need a comprehensive look at career opportunities and pathways to them—including two- and four-year college, apprenticeship, job or skills training, military service, or direct entry into the workforce.

That’s why this fall we’re having the conversation with 3 million students, starting as early as 8th grade.

Career Insights is a new feature on the score report and available in the BigFuture® School mobile app and on the PDF report that provides students with career examples as one way to get excited and think more about their future plans. 

The career list is a snapshot of fast-growing careers and should serve as a starting point for students to explore what interests them most. The aim is to build transparency around workforce opportunities and spark planning discussions sooner.  

The feature will launch with the fall 2023 PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 8/9 and evolve ahead of the spring 2024 PSAT™ 10 and SAT®. For students taking the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 8/9, the six in-demand careers will be specific to their state. Regardless of their score or grade level, students in the same state will see the same list of careers. The list uses information from O*NET, the nation’s primary source for occupational information, and Lightcast, the leader in real-time labor market data.

In the spring, the in-demand careers will be personalized to each student based on a variety of factors including a connection to their math and reading and writing skills based on their test performance.

In all cases, Career Insights is an opportunity to provide students with critical information as they set future goals and plan. Students will:

  • Join the career conversation. The score report aims to get students thinking about career navigation. The careers will include information on growing opportunities with strong median salaries, span interest types aligned to John Holland’s RIASEC model, like doers versus creators, show growth over 5 years, and the most common level of education.
  • Find a starting point. Career exploration is continuous, and the score report creates a path to more information. Students can use BigFuture® career navigation tools for free, quality information to discover more about the 6 careers or others. With almost 1,000 careers listed and information on national and state-level salary, recommended education, job growth, and more, it’s a starting point to more possibilities.
  • Make it personalized. If students want career options personalized by their likes and dislikes, not only based on location, they can take a free career quiz on BigFuture completed by more than 1 million people. It matches career suggestions within minutes to their interests and lets students save careers they’re interested in so they can explore the pathways to get there.

It’s always a good time to check in with students about what they’re thinking about their future and PSAT-related assessments are an opportune moment, especially with the introduction of Career Insights. Next month, we’ll release a guide for parents and caring adults to help families engage in career and college discussions with their students. Resources for counselors and other school personnel are also in development to help guide discussions around career exploration in the classroom.