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Explanation of Holland's Codes and the Strong Interest Inventory PDF Print E-mail

Career counselors at Career Counseling & Planning Services (CCPS) use a variety of different methods to help learn more about your career interests. One career test that students can take at CCPS is the Strong Interest Inventory (SII). It is one of the most widely used assessments of occupational interests and is designed to compare your interests to individuals in many different occupations. While no test is able to tell you what careers you would be good at, the Strong Interest Inventory is a great place to begin looking for possible careers/majors that match your interests.

The Strong Interest Inventory was developed by three vocational psychologists named E. K. Strong, Jo-Ida Hansen, and David Campbell and was based on the work of John Holland. Holland defined six basic occupational themes (called Holland codes) that can be used to categorize occupations as well as individuals.

Characteristics of the Six Themes

Holland Code


Work Activites


Machines, Tools, Outdoors

Operating Equipment, Using Tools, Building, Repairing


Science, Theories, Ideas, Data

Performing Lab Work, Solving Abstract Problems, Researching


Self-Expression, Art Appreciation

Composing Music, Writing, Creating Visual Art, Cooking


People, Team Work, Human Welfare, Community Service

Teaching, Explaining, Helping


Business, Politics, Leadership, Influence

Selling, Persuading, Managing


Organization, Data, Finance

Setting up procedures, Organizing, Operating

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