Personality Types and Your Student's Education

By now, you know your kid's personality pretty well. You have a strong feeling what majors and careers he'd be successful in and what pursuits are not his style. Does he see himself as clearly?

Have him spend a few minutes taking a personality test. Maybe for fun, take it yourself and provide answers for him. How far apart are your assessments of his personality?

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator instrument uses a series of questions to rate a person on four basic qualities:

  • Extroversion vs. Introversion – Do you focus on the world outside yourself or the one inside?
  • Sensing vs. Intuition – Do you concentrate on facts and hard data or do you interpret and add meaning to the information you gather?
  • Thinking vs. Feeling – When you make a decision, do you base it on logic and statistics or do you consider the opinions of numerous people?
  • Judging vs. Perceiving – Do you structure your work and life in an organized, rigid manner or are you more inclined to bend and adapt?

By determining which side an individual identifies with, we can assign one of sixteen four-letter codes. For example, an ESFP personality is an Extrovert who tends to Sense, Feel and Perceive.

 The personality traits your child is born with will affect their natural inclinations to socialize, stay on task, clean their room, and more.

The personality traits your child is born with will affect their natural inclinations to socialize, stay on task, clean their room, and more.

Personality and Career

A 2015 study by Truity offered an online MBTI test. It also asked for information on age, gender, income, and career. Over 25,000 volunteers completed the personality section. Not every volunteer answered all the other questions, but the study delivered a glimpse of the relationship between personality type and work choice.

What trends were revealed by this research?

The ENTJ (N being Intuition) and ESTJ types reported the highest income with ISFP and ISTP reporting the lowest. Extraverts, Sensors, Thinkers, and Judgers scored higher than the other side.

ENTJ types also were more likely than all other types to be managers or supervisors with ISFP and ISTP again at the bottom. Not surprisingly, Extraverts were most likely to be leaders in the workplace.

ESFJ personalities reported the highest job satisfaction with ISFP ranking lowest. ENTJ and ESTJ ranked above average.

ENTJ types were by far the least likely to stay at home parents while INFP types were most likely.

ENTP personalities were dramatically more likely to be self-employed with ISFP least likely.

What does this tell us? The Extroverts overall seem more successful financially and more happy with their work. Thinkers and Judgers tend to make more money and are more likely to become managers than Feelers and Perceivers.

But is your child locked into a personality type and therefore a career path?

Destiny versus Education

Certain parts of your personality are hard-wired. You can't shift your basic nature. If you react with your heart rather than your logic center, that's the way you are and don't ever change.

Yet other aspects measured by the MBTI are malleable habits. Can an introvert become more extroverted? It may be painful and awkward at first, but yes. Social interaction, public speaking and an outgoing internship will break him out of his shell.

Will he still prefer a good book and some time alone? Absolutely, but he won't be afraid to take charge. Leadership is partially a learned skill.

The study hints that an analytical, organized mind excels in business over more abstract, flexible thinkers. Perhaps a dreamer can benefit from being more grounded, but his non-linear thinking style is certainly a benefit not to be abandoned.

Is success solely defined by income? The study also found that Feeler personality types, although they made less money on average, were also more likely to report being satisfied with their career choice.

Personalities are always developing. Use the MBTI test to identify your child's basic nature then help him add skills to excel.

An easy way to get started is with College Factual's Majors Matcher test, which is based on the Myers Briggs formula.