The Holland theory is the most widely used career guidance model in the world
today. It was founded by Psychologist Dr. John Holland who stated that there are
six different areas into which all careers can be categorized. These same six broad
areas can be used to describe people’s general personalities, interests and
strengths. A person is most likely to find success and fulfillment if his or her
personality type matches the work environment.
Commonly known by its acronym “RIASEC” or interest areas, the six Holland
personality types are Realistic (R), Investigative (I), Artistic (A), Social (S),
Enterprising (E), and Conventional (C).
It’s important to find out your top three interest areas since no one is strictly just one
type; in career guidance, the career advisor will interpret your results by looking at
your three-letter code to give you a fuller picture of your vocational makeup. You
can find out your Holland personality type combination by taking our free CareerMe
Here are descriptions of the 6 vocational personality types:
Realistic – The “Do-ers”
Realistic individuals are independent, practically minded, and strong. You enjoy hands-on work that involves tools, machinery or physical skill. You like outdoor activities and dealing with plants, animals, and real-world materials. You prefer concrete rather than abstract problems. Most competent in: Mechanics.
Typical realistic careers include mechanic, chef, engineer, police officer, athlete, pilot, soldier, and firefighter.
Investigative – The “Thinkers”
Investigative individuals are analytical, intellectual, and observant. You enjoy work that involves exploring ideas, theories, and solving complex problems. You enjoy research, mathematical or scientific activities. You prefer thinking over doing, and data and ideas over people. Most competent in: Science.
Typical investigative careers include economist, computer scientist, psychologist, doctor, and pharmacist.
Artistic – The “Creators”
Artistic individuals are original, intuitive, imaginative and creative. You enjoy work activities that deal with the artistic side of things, such as forms, designs, and patterns. You value self-expression in your work. You prefer flexible settings where work can be done without following a clear set of rules. Most competent in: Arts.
Typical artistic careers include musician, artist, interior designer, graphic designer, actor, and writer.
Social – The “Helpers”
Social individuals are humanistic, idealistic, and concerned with the welfare of others. You enjoy work activities that involve interaction with people in the form of teaching, healing, counselling, training and being of service to others. You prefer to be with people rather than to work with objects, machines, or data. Most competent in: Human Relations.
Typical social careers include social worker, counsellor, occupational therapist, teacher, nurse, and librarian.
Enterprising – The “Persuaders”
Enterprising individuals are energetic, ambitious, adventurous, sociable and self-confident. You enjoy work activities that involve leading and persuading people, making decisions, and starting and carrying out projects, especially business ventures. You like taking risks for profit and prefer action rather than thought. Most competent in: Leadership.
Typical enterprising careers include business owner, lawyer, politician, school administrator, salesperson, real estate agent and judge.
Conventional – The “Organizers”
Conventional individuals are efficient, conforming, organized and conscientious. You enjoy work activities that follow set procedures and routines, and environments where the lines of authority are clear. You prefer working with data over ideas. You prefer to provide support to organizations by crunching numbers, running data, and performing clerical duties. Most competent in: Business.
Typical conventional careers include accountant, financial analyst, secretary, bank teller and clerk.
A CareerMe advisor can help you understand more about your vocational personality combination and guide you in applying this knowledge to your life.
Tags: personality, career, test, Holland Theory