Skip to Main Content

Using Holland Codes for Careers and Occupational Choices

By The ZipRecruiter Editors

Holland Codes for careers was first developed in 1959 by sociology professor and psychologist John L. Holland. Holland devised a three-letter code system based on what he believed to be the six different fundamental personality types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Collectively, the six personality types are referred to as RIASEC. 

After completing a career assessment based on the Holland personality types, an individual is assigned a three-letter code that corresponds to their three dominant types. Each three-letter code then corresponds with a profile of occupational choices that reflect the skills and interests of that particular code. These codes can be used to help guide your area of academic study and career choice.

Using the Holland Code assessment can also work well if you’re an experienced professional who’s questioning whether you’re in the right career. If you’re unhappy with the type of work you currently do, it could be that your personality doesn’t align with that type of work. Taking a career assessment based on the Holland Code is a logical next step to gather insights that could help guide you toward a more suitable career path.

What Is Your Holland Code?

To determine your Holland Code, you can take the free short or long version of the Interest Finder assessment. Once you know your three-letter code, you’ll know what your three dominant personality types are, with the most dominant represented by the first letter to the least dominant represented by the third letter.

Read about the six personality types that comprise the three-letter codes and some ideas for corresponding Holland Codes careers below. You can click on each personality type to learn more.

Realistic Type

Realistic individuals value concrete information and, as a result, rarely enjoy working with abstract concepts. They prefer to work with ideas, findings, and data more than people, so people-oriented careers are not a strong match for these independent thinkers. Realistic types are natural problem-solvers who take on roles that involve repairing or assembling things.

Auto Mechanic, Computer Technician, Architect, Medical Technician

Investigative Type

Investigative personalities tend to employ an analytical approach to life and work. They take an interest in math and science, valuing the concrete details offered by numbers, figures, and theories. They find pleasure in conducting research, reading, and doing experiments. Investigative types spend a significant amount of time thinking, considering the many possibilities behind why things are the way they are.

Strategic Planner, Statistician, Data Analyst, Regional Planner

Artistic Type

Artistic individuals are creative, innovative, and intuitive. They value imaginative self-expression, usually in the form of crafts, music, or writing. Artistic types tend to be free spirits who steer clear of mundane tasks, unlikely to be found doing work that is routine or tedious. They prefer constant challenges to their imaginations, as they create and embody originality.

Brand Manager, Sales Trainer, Content Writer, Human Resources Specialist

Social Type

Social types are outgoing, friendly, and empathetic. They are idealistic, with a strong personal value system that guides their every decision in life. Their generous nature and cooperative spirit drives them to volunteer for good causes and get a real sense of joy from helping others.

City Manager, Counselor, Librarian, Medical Assistant

Enterprising Type

Enterprising types are adventurous and enthusiastic. They face challenges head-on and are natural leaders, extremely confident, and self-assured. This personality is driven and ambitious, as they are not satisfied with the status quo and will push for improvements and innovation. While they are assertive, their optimistic and social nature allows them to get along with all kinds of people.

Advertising Sales Representative, Banker, Branch Manager, Buyer

Conventional Type

Conventional personality types are organizers—logical, efficient, and detail-oriented. They like structure, rules, and clear procedures. These individuals are methodical and tend to be great at math and handling data. They are polite and conscientious, yet persistent, especially when they know they are right—and conventional people often are.

Accountant, Administrative Assistant, Budget Analyst, Business Manager

Holland Occupational Codes to Help Guide Your Career Choices

Selecting a career is not a simple task. Understanding your Holland Code and the Holland Code careers list and occupations that align with it is a great starting point. Other considerations include items like whether your values align with those of an organization and the level of training you’re willing to take on to learn how to do a job. As you narrow down a list of potential occupations that you believe might work well for you, you can conduct additional research to determine which path you most desire to take.

The ZipRecruiter Editors

At ZipRecruiter, our mission is to connect employers and job seekers with their next great opportunity. On the ZipRecruiter blog, we use insider experience and data derived from our AI-driven jobs marketplace to provide advice and insights on topics such as the job search process, interviewing, and labor market trends. Start your job search or post a job today and connect with us on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn!

The information in our press releases, blogs, articles, testimonials, videos and presentations should be considered accurate only as of the date thereof. We disclaim any obligation to supplement or update the information in this type of content, and any links or references therein to third party articles or other third party content does not constitute our endorsement of that third party.

Read Related Articles