ASVAB Career Exploration Program Redesign Empowers Students

Public Affairs Office
September 20, 2016

Parents, educators and students will find new and improved tools for their career toolbox in the Department of Defense's newest version of its Career Education Program, launched earlier this month.

Every young person asks, "What do I want to be when I grow up?" and DOD offers a free resource to help answer that question. High school sophomores, juniors, seniors and post-secondary students can use the redesigned Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) Career Education Program to find their dream job.

ASVAB CEP has been around for decades, but an internal review revealed several areas for improvement so the Department of Defense went to work to build a better CEP. The all new ASVAB CEP makes it easier than ever for young people to find their dream job. The all-inclusive design empowers students to explore a variety of options in the context of their skills and interests, and then create a post-secondary plan that works.

The program has three components:

  • The ASVAB test - A multiple aptitude test that allows students to identify their skill strengths
  • FYI - An interest inventory highlights work-related interest areas where students are most likely to succeed
  • OCCU-Find - An occupational database housing pertinent information for career Traditionally only available in paper-and-pencil, ASVAB CEP now allows schools that meet certain technical requirements the ability to offer computer-adaptive testing (iCAT) to reduce test time and increase efficiency.

The redesigned ASVAB CEP website,, not only has a modernized look-and-feel, it also allows audiences to easily navigate to relevant information, resources and activities. Behind the scenes, software upgrades allow real-time content updates via web service while a responsive design accommodates a larger user base.

The ASVAB CEP has always given participants the tools to identify their abilities with the ASVAB test, and find their interests with an interest inventory. But until now, participants were required to visit several different sites to access relevant occupational information.

Not anymore. In addition to an overall enhanced user experience, the ASVAB CEP flagship occupational database, OCCU-Find, has seen a complete overhaul. The expanded OCCU-FIND combines various data sources to present a holistic look at the world of work all in one place.

Users are no longer encouraged to leave the site to find what they're looking for. Occupational listings for 1,000+ careers, derived from O*NET Online,, contain relevant labor market information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics,, pathway opportunities organized by Career Cluster, showcase education and training options from CareerOneStop,, and military service options DMDC.

Each listing includes more robust data points about what an individual in an occupation does and how to enter the occupation:

  • Job description and daily tasks
  • Interests
  • Relative Skill Importance
  • Related careers
  • Education requirements and institutions offering that degree
  • Services offering occupations, including Hot Jobs from each branch
  • Credential and licensing opportunities
  • Employment outlook (average earnings by state and expected growth)

To round out the program improvements, CEP offers a retooled My Portfolio which allows users to chart their achievements and preferences, and produce a customizable resume-like document that includes:

  • Future Plans
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Test Scores - including ACT and SAT
  • Achievements
  • Skills
  • Volunteer Activities
  • Interests
  • Work Values
  • "Favorite" occupations and Career Clusters

The ASVAB CEP is beneficial to students, schools, and military services. Students who participate in the ASVAB CEP program are given guided and self-paced career exploration tools that allow them to explore career options in the context of their interests and aptitude. Most students who participate, 56%, intend to continue their education at a college, university, or vocational-technical school. For students who are interested in the military, participation provides a usable score for enlistment, and allows students to explore multiple military services to find the best opportunities. Using ASVAB CEP, allows schools to provide a comprehensive career exploration program tied to Career Clusters and American School Counselor Association National Standards. Testing personnel, assessments, reports, website access, and other materials are provided to schools free of charge. If a student decides to enlist in military service, it saves the Services time and money since the student has already tested and thought about their career options. Typically, 10-15% of students enlisting each year use their ASVAB CEP score.

National Program Manager, Dr. Shannon Salyer said, "These program improvements allow us to deliver a comprehensive, engaging career exploration program to American youth regardless of their chosen career paths."

A comprehensive program review will take place once all improvements are implemented to evaluate their impact on the ASVAB CEP. To learn more about the ASVAB CEP visit or contact: Dr. Shannon Salyer at

The U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command administers the ASVAB CEP. For more information, contact one of 65 education services specialists located across the nation. For a map of their locations and contact information, visit For information about the ASVAB CEP, call (800) 323-0513.