We encourage students considering a major in one of these areas to look at their own aptitudes and motivators. Aptitudes are those things your student is naturally good at—those skills that will make it easier for them to succeed in a given field. Motivators, often referred to as RIASEC or Holland Codes, are kind of like personality types. They describe your student in a way that can help them better select a career path that suits them. The YouScience assessment is a wonderful tool to help students identify on their own aptitudes and motivators.
Here, we'll take a quick look at a few aptitudes and motivators from YouScience that suggest your student may be meant for engineering or software development.
Spatial visualization. This is the ability to look at a two-dimensional figure and visualize what it would look like expanded into three dimensions. People with an aptitude for spatial visualization like working on concrete projects with tangible results.
Numerical reasoning, This is the ability to process complex mathematical problems logically in your daily life. It can help you recall miscellaneous facts and data and use numerical information to solve problems and make decisions. It also helps you quickly and accurately identify complex trends and relationships among numbers without intentionally searching for a connection among them.
Sequential reasoning. This is a problem solving ability that allows you to mentally arrange information in logical linear order. It helps in planning, and makes it easy to explain to others how the pieces of a plan fit together. Simply stated, this is your knack for organizing things in your head.
Investigative. People with this motivator prefer to work with data. They tend to think, observe, and organize information instead of acting on information or persuading others. They also tend to prefer working on their own instead of in groups.
Conventional. People with this motivator are all about following rules. That means they have great self-control and that they shy away from unstructured or unclear situations, both personally and professionally.
Realistic. People with this motivator prefer taking action in order to solve problems, instead of thinking or talking about the problem. That means they're generally assertive and competitive, and they prefer concrete approaches to problem solving. It makes sense, then, that their interests tend to focus on scientific and mechanical fields.
Remember—a growth mindset can help your student to excel even when they don't have an aptitude or motivator for a specific subject. But students with the above skills are likely to gravitate toward engineering, software development, and related fields. So if your student received this feedback on their YouScience assessment, it's worth encouraging them to consider activities that will allow them to explore these kinds of fields.