Holland’s RIASEC Theory Mini-Lesson

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This activity could be used in a lesson on career development in an I-O psychology class. Additionally, since this activity involves data collection and provides opportunities to develop your students’ quantitative reasoning skills.

Holland’s RIASEC Theory

  • Organizes vocational interests into six summary category
  • Aims to provide an awareness of what occupations an individual finds appealing and unappealing
  • The six categories and the example occupations associated with each code are:
    • Realistic: mechanic, pilot, engineer
    • Investigative: chemist, surgeon, statistician
    • Artistic: musician, writer, painter
    • Social: teacher, therapist, social worker, priest
    • Enterprising: salesperson, promoter, realtor
    • Conventional: accountant, analyst, administrator

The Holland’s codes are formed by rank-ordering the letters from highest to lowest response. Typically, the Holland’s codes focus on the three highest letters. These codes tell us the following:

  • People with similar codes show similar patterns of vocational preference and generally report better satisfaction and performance in similar occupational environments
  • Illustrates the importance of congruence between Holland’s codes for the person and the job in question.

This activity includes PowerPoint slides to be presented to the class. Additionally, in order to give students the opportunity to practice quantitative reasoning skills, while learning more about career paths that interest them. The worksheet and spreadsheet below can be used to determine your students’ RIASEC codes and analyze this data with the class.

PDF with worksheet for finding RIASEC codes: RIASEC

PowerPoint for activity: Holland RIASEC Theory

Spreadsheet for data activity: Spreadsheet for collecting data

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