Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Review of CashCrunch Games

When the opportunity to review CashCrunch Games from CashCrunch Careers came up, I couldn't refuse it. How many times have we all wished that our children would have fulfilling careers, whether that be as a stay-at-home parent or as a lawyer, a farmer, or something else? I think all parents want their kids to be happy, and how you spend the majority of your waking weekday hours is a huge part of that!

CashCrunch Careers consists of a 10-15 minute 75 question, survey designed to elicit students' strengths, weaknesses (or motivators and de-motivators), and preferences, in order to help them decide what to study in college to prepare them for a career that is suited to their unique personality. The idea is that by honing in on a suitable major early on, based on solid information about the student, families can save time and money in the long run (because of less major switching, etc).

The survey short and easy and will be familiar to anyone who has ever done something like this before (I know my husband's company gives employees surveys like this from time to time to try to help them become aware of their weaknesses and capitalize on their strengths). My four children all took the survey.

Therese - 17 (high school senior/dual credit student)

Therese wants to work for the State Department fighting human trafficking and other human rights abuses. She plans to major in International Studies and will likely go for her PhD.

These are Therese's career attributes according to CashCrunch Careers. She is 100% all of these things.

These are Therese's motivators and de-motivators. I absolutely agree with all of these, apart from "public recognition." That's not something I have seen in her, but I will definitely allow that the survey may have elicited more from her than I know.

Nicholas - 15 (high school sophomore/dual credit student)

Nicholas wants to be a chemical engineer. He excels at math and science and will graduate with both his high school diploma and his Associate's degree in 2021. He will then likely transfer to Texas A&M to complete college.

Here are his career assets. I have to confess that I don't see much of this in him at all. He lacks initiative and much self-control at times. He is often the antithesis of persistence. However, I'll confess that this survey relies on one's own perception of self, and he would likely agree with these things, even though I have not seen much evidence of them.

Here are his motivators and de-motivators. Have you noticed anything yet? Like the above graphic, this one matches Therese's perfectly. He and Therese are such different people. He has ADHD/OCD/Tourette's and things have to be "just so" for him. He is excessively orderly and excels in math and science. Although Therese does have OCD, she also has a lot more flexibility in how she approaches tasks. She is a gifted writer and analytical thinker. I have trouble believing that they are motivated by the same things.

Michael - 13 (8th grade, wants to do something in art)

Michael's career assets are a little different from Therese's and Nicholas'. I think they reflect him *very* well.

His motivators and de-motivators, though, are exactly the same as Therese's and Nicholas'. The thing is, I know my children, and I know that they are motivated by very different things. I find this section of the survey results a little puzzling.

Mary-Catherine - 13 (wants to be in broadcast journalism)

Mc's career attributes are also pretty accurate, I think. It is interesting that she is my only child who came up with social orientation - she is definitely my only extrovert. 

Her motivators and de-motivators are also different from the other kids. In fact, they seem tailor made for someone who wants to be a TV news anchor. My faith in the accuracy of CashCrunch Careers is restored enough that I have to consider why my other kids' results were so similar. First, as I said before, the results rely on self-reporting, which can be inherently flawed. We don't always see ourselves as others see us. Second, it is certainly possible that I don't know my kids as well as I think I do, especially now that they are all teenagers.

The Careers Portion of the Results

I'll confess that I was confused when all of my children got nearly identical career reports. This video explains how to read/use those reports.

The site uses information from the US Department of Labor to describe jobs and to project the future need for each career. Some careers are in ascendance, while others are in steep decline. This is very valuable information to have when selecting a career. General information about each career is provided.

Some of the information generated by the report is very interesting and seems valuable, but I am less convinced by the career report itself (showing which careers one is suited to). Still, for a general overview of your personality, strengths and weaknesses, and aptitudes, the survey results have merit. Also, your results are available online to you forever, so that, too, is valuable.

My opinion isn't the only one out there. To see how 69 other Crew families used CashCrunch Game, be sure to click here!


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