The Holland Codes for career aptitude pertain to a career and vocational choices theory set down by psychologist John Holland. Based on the premise that people’s career aptitudes are dictated by their personalities, Dr. Holland went on to formulate six distinct Holland Codes, which describe six personality types. These may also be extrapolated to describe work environments, which has made the Holland Codes especially influential in American business models, and one of a handful of vocational guidance codes used today to determine career aptitudes.
Despite the existence of six separate Holland Codes, each pertaining to a set of career aptitudes dictated by personality types, Holland’s theory does not cookie-cut individuals into single Holland Codes. Rather, the theory assumes that individuals encompass several Holland Codes within their persona, which may be of equal or descending influence. In other words, like a pizza sliced into parts, one’s career aptitudes may be formed of several personality slices of equal or varying influence. In this way, Holland Codes can be used to describe far more than six personality types (or career aptitude types). By combining the six Holland Codes in various ratios, seven hundred and twenty different personality patterns emerge.
Most often, the Holland Codes for career aptitude and vocational choices are referred to as a single unite by the acronym RIASEC, formulated from the names of the six Holland categories. These are: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Each appertains to a unique facet of personality traits and career aptitude, as described below.
Holland Codes for Career Aptitude: REALISTIC
The Realistic Holland Code persona pertains to individuals who are either athletic or mechanically inclined, able to work with their hands, be it with tools and machines or plants and animals. The Realistic Holland Code personality enjoys being outdoors, and are independent, ambitious, systematic and persistent. They are realistic in that they fare well with manipulating the physical world around them.
Holland Codes for Career Aptitude: INVESTIGATIVE
The InvestigativeHolland Code persona pertains to individuals who are investigative and curious in nature, and enjoy observing, learning, analyzing and problem solving. They are intellectual and scientific in career aptitudes, as well as explorative. The Investigative Holland Code personality is scholarly and reserved, but also broad-minded, independent, logical, introspective and intellectually self-reliant, and will enjoy challenging games like puzzles and chess.
Holland Codes for Career Aptitude: ARTISTIC
The Artistic Holland Code persona pertains to individuals who are imaginative, creative and innovative, as well as independent and even chaotic. Filled with a fresh perspective on things, the Artistic Holland Code personality will be emotional, introspective, sensitive, courageous, complicated and nonconforming. Enjoying the arts in every form, the Artistic persona will love the theater, concerts and museums, and will engage in several art forms often combining them in inventive ways.
Holland Codes for Career Aptitude: SOCIAL
The Social Holland Code persona pertains to individuals who are skilled with words and communication and who take pleasure in helping, nurturing, or teaching others, as well as sharing knowledge and ideas. The Social personality is friendly, helpful, patient, kind and persuasive. They are generous, forgiving and empathic and work well in groups, playing an important role in motivating others. The Social Holland Code persona will exhibit career aptitude in fields that help or teach others, such as teaching, nursing, child care or animal care.
Holland Codes for Career Aptitude: ENTERPRISING
The Enterprising Holland Code persona pertains to individuals who are competitive and born to lead and persuade others to follow. Friendly and persuasive, the Enterprising Holland Code personality can drive groups to function under one goal and achieve economic or other practical ends. Displaying self-confidence, assertiveness and energy, the Enterprising persona is typically the center of attention, a popular figure that affects others with its own enthusiasm for life and achievement. They are adventurous and even impulsive and will drive ideas into action, sweeping others behind them.
Holland Codes for Career Aptitude: CONVENTIONAL
The Conventional Holland Code persona pertains to individuals who enjoy assimilating data and have strong numerical or clerical abilities. They are beautiful organized and able to systematically execute instructions without flaw. The Conventional Holland Code personality is efficient, conscientious, conforming, polite and obedient. At the same time, the Conventional persona is also ambitious, accurate and persistent. Working best within a group or a structure, the Conventional Holland Code persona will exhibit career aptitude for banking, accounting, bibliography and categorizing or collecting data.
To assess your own custom Holland Codes combination, consider all six codes, granting each a percentile value, as if you were slicing a pizza into six slices. Remember that as you mature, learn and evolve, these percentile values are likely to change. For this reason, career aptitude tests are as relevant at 60 as they are at 16.
To learn more about career aptitude tests and which ones to avoid, read the article: 5 Best Career Aptitude Tests to Help You Find the Perfect Job. And to discover which careers fall within the specific range of each of the Holland Codes, visit the University of Missouri’s Career Interest Game.
1. Wikipedia: Holland Codes. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holland_Codes
2. University of Missouri. Career Interest Game. Retrieved from: http://career.missouri.edu/students/majors-careers/skills-interests/career-interest-game/