John Holland Personality Types

John L. Holland is a psychologist who spent much of his career at Johns Hopkins University. He received his B.S. from the University of Omaha and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Holland is the creator of the RIASEC career development model often referred to as the Holland Codes.

This information is a reprint from Wikipedia(July 25, 2007):

Holland Codes are career types created by psychologist John L. Holland.

Holland mapped these types into a hexagon which he then broke down into the RIASEC job environments:

  • Realistic– practical, physical, hands-on, tool-oriented
  • Investigative– analytical, intellectual, scientific, explorative
  • Artistic– creative, original, independent, chaotic
  • Social– cooperative, supporting, helping, healing/nurturing
  • Enterprising– competitive environments, leadership, persuading
  • Conventional – detail-oriented, organizing, clerical

Holland argues that 2-3 types dominate in each person.

For more of the Wikipedia definitions, use this link.

The best online John Holland test types assessment is at The Career Key. It costs $10.00.

BUT–I believe that you can get a broader view of your talents and abilities by taking all the following free tests.

1.  Be sure to take notes about your choices either online or in a notebook.

2.  Take these free assessments:—Discover Careers That Fit You—Career Test—Rogue Community College–North Carolina Career Resource Network–Self-Assessment Exercise

The Holland Codes are used frequently in choosing careers and/or college majors because they are based on natural interest. One of the largest sites, HollandCodes, has free college search and career information. This site has extensive information and links to sites specializing in the Holland Codes.

Remember this (from

“”An easy way to remember the Holland Codes is RIASEC, the first letter of each type. Dr. Holland did not say that a person is just one of these types. Then there would be only six types of people in the world. Instead, any one person can have interests associated with all of the six types. When you rank the types, starting with those you have the most interest in to those you have the least interest in, you get your specific Holland Code.

“There are some 720 different combinations possible, like ISERAC, AIRSEC, or CSERIA. Generally, however, only two or three letters are necessary to create a useful description, such as SC, IRC, or AIC. Such a description may apply to both a person and a work environment. By typifying both people and work environments with Holland Codes, we can calculate matches between them. This helps you assess a potential career or vocational choice.”

“Holland’s theory also states that any two letters in the code have a stronger link when they are next to each other in a hexagon formed by the word RIASEC. So, Realistic people and work environments are more closely linked to Investigative and Conventional people and environments than to Social people and environments. One difference between Realistic and Social is working with machines or with people. Conventional is more like Realistic and Enterprising than like Artisticand so on.”

3.  Use the following for career assessment ideas: SU Holland Codes, Careers, and College Majors

Salisbury University: This Salisbury site further helps you to determine which majors and/or courses will help you in your personality type. It also breaks down the courses in each Holland personality type.

Grand Canyon University: Holland Career Model  A Quick and Easy Assessment

Photo credit.


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