What are Holland codes?

Holland codes are a way of classifying people according to their interests so that they can be matched with appropriate careers. The system was developed by Dr. John L. Holland, an academic psychologist. His theory is also known as the RIASEC system.

Dr. Holland's theory proposes that there are six broad areas into which all careers can be classified. These same six areas can be used to describe people, their personalities and interests. For instance, Building careers are those that involve working with tools or machinery (e.g. carpenter, mechanic, or airline pilot). People with Building interests are typically practical types who like working with their hands and creating a tangible product.

How can I use Holland codes to choose the right career?

Holland codes help you match what you like to do with appropriate careers. To figure out which careers will suit you, you first must understand your own interest profile. You can do so by taking a Holland Code assessment. Then, once you have your scores in each of the six interest areas, you can do a search to find careers that match your top interests.

What are the six interest areas?

Each of the 6 interest areas describes a broad field of similar work tasks and activities. Interest areas are also descriptive of people: their values, motivations, and preferences. For each interest area, there is a collection of typical job tasks, as well as a description of the type of person who would be interested in doing those sorts of tasks.

Most professional career advisors are familiar with the system of Holland codes or RIASEC. RIASEC is an acronym for Holland's original 6 types. Because the names of Holland's 6 types may not be obvious to non-professionals, we use a slightly different terminology which is more self-explanatory.

Interest Area

Holland Code

About this Area

Interest Area
Holland Code

Building

Realistic

Building jobs involve the use of tools, machines, or physical skill. Builders like working with their hands and bodies, working with plants and animals, and working outdoors.

Interest Area
Holland Code

Thinking

Investigative

Thinking jobs involve theory, research, and intellectual inquiry. Thinkers like working with ideas and concepts, and enjoy science, technology, and academia.

Interest Area
Holland Code

Creating

Artistic

Creating jobs involve art, design, language, and self-expression. Creators like working in unstructured environments and producing something unique.

Interest Area
Holland Code

Helping

Social

Helping jobs involve assisting, teaching, coaching, and serving other people. Helpers like working in cooperative environments to improve the lives of others.

Interest Area
Holland Code

Persuading

Enterprising

Persuading jobs involve leading, motivating, and influencing others. Persuaders like working in positions of power to make decisions and carry out projects.

Interest Area
Holland Code

Organizing

Conventional

Organizing jobs involve managing data, information, and processes. Organizers like to work in structured environments to complete tasks with precision and accuracy.

To find your interest profile and discover the careers that are right for you, take our Holland Code career test now!

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