7 Million Users, 15 Years Later, the MAPP Career Test is as Relevant as Ever

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The MAPP (Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential) career test has hit a major milestone in its 15-year history: Over 7 million people in nearly every country in the world have logged in to take the free MAPP test. The MAPP career test, which has undergone extensive validity and reliability testing, is the first and most comprehensive online career test for consumers. It is more relevant than ever during the current recession, when nearly one in every 10 wage earners is out of a job.

Henry Neils, president, Assessment.com

"We think our business model offers the best of both worlds: the MAPP career test has undergone extensive reliability and validity testing. However, it can be be taken and read by consumers without having to engage the services of a professional."

Every 30 seconds, someone, somewhere in the world takes the MAPP (Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential) career test. Nearly 15 years after going “live,” the MAPP test, offered on the website, http://www.assessment.com, is the first and most comprehensive online career test for consumers, who receive a free partial assessment and five career matches.

Now, when nearly one in ten wage earners in the U.S. is out of work, many people are reevaluating their job and work orientation and looking for a new career with growth potential that fits their personal motivations and interests. This is exactly the type of person Assessment.com is attracting in droves, in addition to students and recent graduates.

“If your job lines up with what you love to do, you’re a lucky person,” said Henry Neils, president of Assessment.com. Neils started Assessment.com in 1994 after a distant relative showed him the 400-question written career test he had developed for the forestry business after WWII. “I took the test and it ‘nailed’ me,” Neils said. “I could see it was a diamond in the rough. But I knew I had to make it much easier for people to take and deliver it over the Internet.”

The MAPP career test has now been translated into 15 different languages and is offered by 3,500 corporate psychologists, human resource managers, outplacement firms and career counselors at high schools and universities. The 71-question test takes roughly 15 minutes to complete, and the resulting free assessment identifies the user’s work interests, talents and motivations. Users can click on five different careers to see if these are a good fit, and can upgrade to one of several packages ranging from $19.95 to $129.05 to receive a more comprehensive narrative and match themselves to all of the careers and tasks they are best suited for.

The MAPP career test has come a long way since its inception, when it was originally marketed to businesses as a tool to help them recruit people who would be the best fit for sales and other types of jobs. Around 2000, Neils decided to rethink the business model and go directly to consumers. “After reading Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing, I understood the power of free, and that’s when we began offering free assessments for consumers,” he said.

“When we started the test, we knew there was a whole world of testing out there – it’s a multi-billion dollar industry,” Neils said. “But these tests are marketed to professionals who administer them to their clients and must interpret the results for them. We think our business model offers the best of both worlds: the MAPP test has undergone extensive reliability and validity testing by a number of psychologists, including correlating the results to the Strong Interest Inventory.® However, the MAPP can be taken and read by consumers without having to engage the services of a professional.”

The MAPP comprises 71 different triads, or three statements that users indicate they would most prefer or least prefer, with one left blank. Since there are so many different combinations of answers, there are literally more than a trillion trillion different test results – more than there are people in the world.

In addition to marketing directly to consumers, Neils and his team reached out to a variety of school, career, human resources and outplacement professionals and offered them an attractive revenue-sharing offer: put the MAPP career test on your site for free, and we’ll give you 15 percent of any revenues generated from test-takers on your site. New “affiliate” partners continue to sign on as they recognize the value the MAPP career test offers to their employees, clients and students.

“A key time for individuals to consider alternate career paths is after they’ve been laid off,” said Ann Hackett, career transition consultant at Quest Outplacement (http://www.questoutplacement.com), Champlin, Minn., adding that the MAPP career assessment is part of the outplacement package her firm offers to employers that are downsizing. “The MAPP career test helps downsized employees clearly understand their unique strengths and offers information on the possible career paths that would best utilize these strengths,” she said.

Neils and his staff at Assessment.com are optimistic about the future of the MAPP career test and its application for students, job seekers, and the millions of people who have been laid off in the current recession.

“Mark Twain said, ‘The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation,’” Neils said. “I can relate because I built this sandbox 21 years ago and have been playing in it ever since,” he said, referring to ZH Computer, the parent company of Assessment.com, Syntactica and other technology companies. “I’d like everyone to enjoy what they do for a living as much as I do.”

Assessment.com is the home of the MAPP (Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential), the first and most comprehensive online career test for consumers. The MAPP assessment, which has undergone extensive validity and reliability testing, comprises 71 statement triads that ultimately define the test-taker’s interest, temperament, aptitude, and motivation toward various jobs and tasks. Over 7 million people in nearly every county in the world have logged in to take the free MAPP career test, and it is also offered through 3,500 affiliate partners, including corporate psychologists, human resource managers, outplacement firms and career counselors. For more information, visit http://www.assessment.com.

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