Myers-Briggs Personality Type and Intended Career: Is There Any Correlation?

Ava Chen, Managing Editor, Feature

“What is your Myers-Briggs personality type?” someone once asked one of my family members during a job interview. This interview question has always intrigued me, as if someone’s four letter response could dictate whether or not they would get the job. While it is less common to hear the Myers-Briggs personality type, aka Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), come up during a job interview, MBTI is still ingrained in popular culture.

Almost every single year of middle school and high school, students end up taking the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, which is one that groups the test-taker into one of sixteen different personality types. A person’s personality type is characterized by four letters. Each letter represents where someone falls within a certain category. The categories are as follows: extraversion (E) or introversion (I), sensing (S) or intuition (N), thinking (T) or feeling (F), and judging (J) or perceiving (P). From these categories, someone could have a resulting type like ENFJ, ISTP, INTJ, and so on. Many websites such as and breakdown each type and list each type’s strengths, weaknesses, workplace habits and even romantic relationships. 

These websites also recommend top careers and careers to avoid for each type. This section of the personality type breakdown has always fascinated me, partially due to the lack of methodology and partially due to the vast variety of supposedly top careers. From looking at the lists, it is almost impossible to even hypothesize what all of these careers have in common that collectively deem them as top careers. In order to gain a better understanding of how these websites determined the top and worst careers, I decided to create my own survey to analyze the correlation between a person’s personality type and their intended career.  

I created a simple Google form that asked for the survey-taker’s name, grade, school, MBTI type, intended major in college, and intended career. I also included an additional information section where someone could clarify their previous responses as well as include any other information. In total, over sixty people filled out the survey, the majority of them juniors at Minnetonka High School. Twenty-eight percent of the survey participants were seniors and fourteen percent and twelve percent of the survey-takers were college freshman and high school sophomores, respectively.

After collecting all of the data, I grouped all of the responses into sixteen different groups, with each group representing one of the sixteen personality types. From this grouping I realized a flaw in my data. While some groups such as the ENTJ, ENFP and INTJ had seven to nine samples, others such as the ESFJ, ESTJ, and ISTP only had one sample. The ESFP and ESTP groups had zero. 

Next, I compared each person’s intended career with the top careers and careers to avoid for their type on I created an Excel spreadsheet, censored the samples that were undecided on their intended major and career, and then marked each sample with one of five labels. 

The labels were essentially a response to this question: Does this person’s intended career fit one of their personality type’s top careers? Samples listing careers that directly matched the ones found on were marked with a “yes” label. Those that directly matched the careers listed in the list of careers to avoid were marked with a “no” label. 

There were a decent number of samples that listed careers that were more specific (like if someone said they would like to be a corporate lawyer when listed lawyer as a top career) or synonymous with the ones listed on For these samples, I still marked them with the aforementioned “yes” or “no” label. Then, I grouped the remaining samples into the “maybe yes”, “maybe no”, and “maybe” categories based on if I thought their intended career fit the listed top careers. This was done subjectively, which reveals another source of error in the experimental design.  

The results of these actions were surprising. Of the uncensored samples (those decided on major and potential career), exactly 50% of them matched one of their personality type’s top careers. Eighteen percent were marked with the “maybe yes” label, 24% were marked with the “maybe” label, and 4% were marked with the “maybe no” label. Only 4% of the uncensored samples’s intended career directly matched the careers to avoid. Even though this data may show a positive correlation between personality type and intended career, there were many factors that ultimately make this data, in my opinion, inconclusive.  

The first factor is the design of the top careers and careers to avoid sections on For many of the personality types, there are over 50 careers listed as top careers, while only 10-20 careers to avoid. Furthermore, many of the careers listed as top careers were a lot more vague than the careers listed as ones to avoid.

For example, one of the careers listed as ones to avoid for an ENTJ is a bill collector, something a lot more specific than the ideal careers, such as a doctor or lawyer. Also, many of the careers to avoid were the same for many of the personality types. Careers that are typically associated with lower wages, such as receptionists, were extremely common in the careers to avoid section. Most people take into account salary when choosing their career, so it makes sense that these lower paying jobs would naturally be careers to avoid, regardless of personality type. This made me wonder, “Are the top careers actually insightful or are they just a broad laundry list of careers that just about everyone could find something they are interested in?”

This brings me to another factor: the Myers-Briggs personality test itself. The test was created by two people that had no formal training in psychology. The system of evaluating a person’s unique personality into sixteen types is flawed in itself because it can’t realistically encompass every person’s personality. Many of the people that took my survey stated that they fall in the middle of the spectrum that determines if someone is an E or I, S or N, T or F, and J or P. Some said they fluctuate between two or even four different types. Others pointed out that certain websites, such as tend to mistype individuals.

Why do people still take the Myers-Briggs personality test when it has so many flaws? One reason may be that taking the test feels good. The test results are largely positive and focus on how great each personality type is. In a sense, the personality test is a confidence boost that shows the test-taker an ideal version of themselves. 

Merve Emre, Oxford University professor and author of The Personality Brokers, which explores the history of the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, said,  “[the test provides a] really, really appealing fantasy that we can aspire to a kind of self governance and a kind of coherence.”

At the end of the day, the Myers-Brigg Personality Test is simply a form of entertainment. 

Peyton Crest, ‘21, when asked about her opinions of the test, said, “While I don’t think the Meyers Briggs Personality Test should be one’s sole definition of personality, I believe it provides many helpful aspects for individuals to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, which in turn, can foster success. It also allows me to understand other individuals better, as I know generally if they are extroverted or introverted, think of the bigger picture or minute details, etc.”

Crest’s statement adds on to my own opinion of the Myers-Briggs Personality Test. The test is an indicator, not a determinant of a person’s personality. In order to truly understand a person better, one must go beyond the four letters of their MBTI to discover their personality.