RIASEC – John Holland and Career Interests

John Holland was Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University and is best known as the creator of the career development model, the Holland Occupational Themes (Holland Codes). Holland suggests that all people fit into one or more personality types: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional – the RIASEC assessment that is widely used by career counseling professionals.

Implicit in the theory is the concept that a person’s career needs to reflect a person’s personality and preferences in order to have interesting and fulfilling jobs. An “outdoor person” will likely be miserable sitting at a desk on a computer all day.

While the Holland career interest survey has been used extensively by millions of teenagers and adults (and the Department of Labor has collected data for decades to validate the theory), the actual test itself can be difficult for children and adults with special needs. As such, Identifor is developing a new way to assess interest without letting the traditional testing medium (e.g., pen and paper, reading and selecting among provided choices) get in the way. We are building a new image-based tool based on the science of “discrete choice analysis”, which will be able to create much more accurate “inferred choices” based on how a person selects from a series of forced choices (e.g., how a player choose between working on a computer or working in the garden).

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