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Many autistic young adults may struggle to progress to further education or employment after high school, highlighting the need for tailored career development programs. If provided with the proper resources and support, the obstacles faced by autistic youth in pursuing post-secondary activities may decrease.


This pilot study aimed to examine the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a brief career development program consisting of a strengths and challenges intervention paired with a 12-week workshop intervention.

Methods and procedures

We studied the participants' changes in confidence and participation in pursuing post-secondary activities using a series of questionnaires in 20 participants, ages 16–23. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Strong Interest Inventory (SII) helped the participants choose a post-secondary path. The 1–9 Vocational Index Scale measured post-secondary participation and hours working in a normed fashion. The Confidence Index Interval: Entering Workforce measured the participants’ perceived confidence related to career transition.

Outcomes and results

Our results suggested that a brief career development program paired with a strengths and challenges intervention significantly increased post-secondary involvement in autistic young adults (N = 20, p = 0.014). There were no significant changes in confidence.

Conclusions and implications

These findings provide proof of concept of a brief career development program using the MBTI and SII in young adults with ASD.

What this paper adds

Research in career development and transition for autistic young adults reveals that career interventions specific to the autistic population are lacking. Our pilot study explores a new type of intervention that incorporates the analysis of personal strengths and challenges with a 12-week transition workshop. Our project is the first to utilize the MBTI and SII as a tool to guide autistic youth in choosing a post-secondary path. The results of our study suggest that our program significantly improves post-secondary participation in autistic young adults. The findings provide proof of concept of using the MTBI and SII with a 12-week workshop for autistic young adults. At the end of our program, several participants began pursuing post-secondary education on track to obtain associate’s (N = 8) or bachelor’s (N = 3) degrees. Some began trade school (N = 3) and internships (N = 2), and others began employment or onboarding to employment (N = 4). Given the need for more evidence-based career interventions for autistic adults, our pilot study contributes significantly to autism research to better serve the autistic population.


This article was originally published in Research in Developmental Disabilities, volume 143, in 2023.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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