Your Interests: The COPS
Your COPS Interest Inventory Profile provides you with percentile scores on each
of 14 COPSystem Career Clusters. These represent Clusters of occupations at
both Professional and Skilled levels within five major occupational areas, plus
three additional Clusters for which separate levels are not appropriate.
Descriptions of each Career Cluster and lists of sample occupations are linked
to the Summary section of your results.
Your percentile scores allow you to compare your interest in activities related
to each of the Clusters with those of a typical ONE HUNDRED other people who
also took the COPS. Your highest peaks on the COPS profile are the occupational
groups or Clusters in which your interests are strongest when compared to
others at your educational level. Most people find that their scores are higher
in two or three Clusters than they are in the rest. Typically, one or two
scores will be above the 75th percentile.
Consider your profile for a moment:
- Scores above the 75th percentile are considered to be high —
representing significantly more interest in that area than the average person.
- Scores below the 25th percentile are considered to be low —
representing significantly less interest in that area than the average person.
Some people do not have a “typical” profile at all:
- If all of your scores are lower than the 75th percentile, it may be that you
have not had the opportunity as yet to develop a wide variety of interests,
or you may not have given much thought to your career before this time.
If this is true in your case, your highest peaks, even if they are lower than
the 75th percentile, should be used as a starting point for career exploration.
Reading about occupations may help you to identify the occupational activities that would be
of greatest interest to you.
- If all of your scores are lower than the 50th percentile, it may be that you
have already focused on one very specific career, and did not indicate a
liking for any other types of activities when you took the COPS. If this is the
case, most of your scores will be very low, perhaps even below the 25th
percentile. You may wish to talk to a qualified person about the specific
career you are considering to make sure that you have all of the information
necessary for making your career decision.
- If most of your scores are above the 75th percentile with no really
outstanding peaks or valleys, it probably means that you have many and
varied interests, and would like to try out careers related to all of them.
If this is the case for you, you may want to consider how to rank your many
interests and begin to focus a bit. Even if you decide to try many careers in
your lifetime, you have to decide which one you are going to sample first!
Look again at your COPS Profile of Interests
and consider your scores in the
Professional versus the Skilled level Clusters.
- In general, those occupations at the Professional level typically require
college training and often advanced degrees, especially in the areas of
Science, Technology and Service. Occupations at this level are
characterized by a high degree of autonomy and responsibility, and require
high ability in some areas as well as interest in these areas in order to be successful.
- Occupations at the Skilled level usually require specialized training such as
would be obtained in trade and vocational schools or on-the-job training,
although some may also require a college background. These occupations
demand considerably less responsibility than those in the Professional level,
and also offer less autonomy. Skilled level occupations typically require high
ability in different areas than do occupations at the Professional level.
An interest inventory alone cannot predict where you will find the most career
satisfaction. The COPS can only suggest possible areas for you to investigate
further as you begin to research occupations. You should consider your scores
on the CAPS ability battery and the COPES work values survey to complete your
You may want to consult with a career guidance professional to further discuss