What is Sokanu?

Sokanu is a career matching platform that helps people find their ideal career. Sokanu accomplishes this in two ways. The first is through the world’s best career test — a prediction engine built from the ground up using the latest innovations in psychometrics and machine learning. The second is through Sokanu’s 750 career profiles, containing thousands of pieces of unique content aimed at helping people understand and enter careers.

Sokanu was founded in 2012 and is based in Vancouver, BC.

Our Mission

Finding a meaningful way to contribute to the world is key to achieving a sense of fulfilment and belonging. For most of us, choosing a career is a big piece of this puzzle. Next to your relationships with family and friends, it’s the most important investment of your life. Finding the right career can be difficult, but our job is to make your search as simple as possible.

Our mission is to help people find their ideal career.

Our History

Sokanu was born in response to the question, “what should I do with my life”? Toward the end of high school, Sokanu founder Spencer Thompson noticed a pattern among his classmates when it came to choosing a path after graduation. They were all going into the same courses at the same university. Somewhere along the way, a parent recommended a particular career. They then told another parent, who told their kids they should take this particular career path because of its earning potential, prestige, or career mobility.

Almost every high school student was picking a career path based on the biased opinions of others, rather than deciding for themselves. The primary way of finding a career was dogmatic advice - either by parents or friends.

Every other industry had been disrupted by the internet and data, why not career discovery? Most of the tools people used were either pen-and-paper, or terrible online user experiences that left people with a bad taste in their mouth.

Sokanu was born out of this frustration in 2012, launching its first version of the Sokanu career test in November, 2012. Since then we’ve grown tremendously and have launched a series of new products aimed at helping people find their ideal career. Some of these include:

  • The Sokanu Career Test - a brand new way of measuring human character and matching that against over 700 careers;
  • The Sokanu Career Profile - the most comprehensive look at over 750 careers on the internet;
  • Sokanu for Education - our product for career counselors to help their students choose and enter their ideal careers. Used by over 100 schools; and,
  • Sokanu for Employers - the Sokanu matching engine applied to jobs. Free to use for employers.

These products have allowed Sokanu to become the largest occupational database in the world. We use this data to constantly improve our product, similar to how Netflix uses your ratings to improve movie recommendations.

At Sokanu, we constantly strive to improve upon our product to better help our users find their place in the world. To date, we have:

  • Given over 200 million career recommendations, making us the largest provider of career advice in the world
  • Helped over 10 million people with their careers
  • Provided over 200, 000 recommendations daily to our users, helping our website become smarter and better equipped to help users find their perfect career.

Our People

Sokanu is powered by a team of skilled developers, designers and strategists across North America. Meet our team…

Karen Arrese

Karen earned a BA in Economics from Union College and The London School of Economics. After 10 years on Wall Street managing institutional foreign bond and currency portfolios, Karen set out to explore other interests. She started a local calligraphy business, consulted for an architect, volunteered at a non-profit child care center. She loves spending time with family, navigating teenage life with her 3 daughters and hiking with their black lab, Valencia.

Jorgen Hookham

Jorgen is a UX designer, front-end engineer and project manager at Sokanu. He is a socialist at heart, whose professional raison d'être is better living through technology for all people.

Jean-Marc Skopek

Jean-Marc is a full-stack developer at Sokanu. He climbs mountains for fun and secretly aspires to be a DJ. Jean Marc joined Sokanu from his previous role as VP of Engineering at Top Hat Monocle, a $100M education software startup.

Saeid Fard

Saeid heads product and operations at Sokanu. Saeid has over 10 years of experience in digital product design. His experience includes leading the Site Innovation team at Expedia, Instructing at the British Columbia Institute of Technology's Digital Design and Development Program, and working as a Management Consultant and Investment Banker at McKinsey & Company and Goldman Sachs, respectively.

Deppy Thompson

Deppy has been with Sokanu since it was first founded, building career content from the ground up. She’s made the west coast her home, and will never complain about the rain, having spent 30 years out east in freezing cold and humid weather. She has occasionally been known to eat a whole watermelon in one sitting, which is not odd in Greek culture.

Ryan West

Ryan is a backend developer at Sokanu and leads technical partnerships. He hails from Hawaii and has a degree in software engineering from the Ontario Institute of Technology and is an active Ski Patroller for North Shore Mountain Rescue.

Lewis Zimmerman

Lewis leads backend development and data science at Sokanu. His work experience includes writing distributed servers from scratch for Relic entertainment and heading digital strategy at Noise Digital.

Maya Thau-Eleff

Maya is an accomplished writer and editor with a diverse portfolio. In addition to writing articles, blogs and web content, she is a published poet who has also edited a host of articles and manuscripts, including the novel Scars by Dr. A. Breeze Harper. An ex-Winnipegger, Maya lived in equally blustery Kingston, Ontario during her BA(H) and MA before making Vancouver her home.

Spencer Thompson

Spencer is the founder of Sokanu. He attended (but did not finish at) the London School of Economics to study Economics and Econometrics, and was a Thiel Fellowship Finalist in 2011. He has spoken at Microsoft, SAP, and TiE, and is an advisor to Vocate & New Ground Ventures.