How Can an Interest Career Assessment Help You Choose a Career?

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  • 0:02 Interests & Careers
  • 1:13 Holland Code
  • 4:27 Finding Inventories
  • 5:22 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

How can you find the right career for you? One thing that many people do is to consider their interests and how that can lead to a career. Watch this lesson to find out more about interest inventories and how they can help you find a suitable career.

Interests & Careers

Cooper is in college, and he's stressed out. His parents keep telling him that he should be thinking about his career and pressuring him to decide what he's going to do, but Cooper just doesn't know what he wants to do!

A career is a long-term occupation. It's often made up of many different jobs. For example, a teacher may become a principal and then a district superintendent. All of those are different jobs, but they are the same career.

Choosing a career can seem overwhelming because there seem to be so many out there. Should Cooper become a doctor or start his own business? He could become an educator or a scientist or a chef. He could become a rodeo clown. The possibilities are endless! How does he even begin to narrow them down?

One place that Cooper can start is with his interests, or what a person enjoys doing or wants to know more about. For example, if Cooper isn't interested in science, he's probably not going to want to be a scientist. Let's look closer at how Cooper can use his interests to find the perfect career for him.

Holland Code

Ok, so Cooper doesn't want to be a scientist. There are still a lot of things he could do, and it seems like he has a lot of interests. How can he narrow things down a bit?

An interest inventory is a survey that helps a person figure out what careers would be good for them based on their interests. Cooper can take the survey and then get a report offering several careers that might be right for him. For example, if Cooper likes to communicate with others, he might find that being a writer or a teacher or a psychologist are on his list of possible careers.

Most interest inventories are based on psychologist John L. Holland's work. He created the Holland Code, also called the Holland Occupational Themes, named for him. The Holland Code is a list of six different general types of people based on their work-related interests. Psychologists remember the six types with the acronym RIASEC.

'R' is for realistic. These people are also known as the doers. They like to work with their hands, do physical labor and/or create something practical. If Cooper is a doer, he might pursue a career in construction, landscaping or make clocks. He could be a park ranger or a veterinarian. All of these are examples of realistic careers.

'I' is for investigative. These people are the thinkers. They like to search for facts and solve problems with information. Cooper is probably not a thinker because they often enjoy science. Careers in research or science are often investigative careers.

'A' is for artistic. Artistic people are known as the creators. They are all about self-expression and freedom. They enjoy careers that let them work on their own terms and express themselves. Writers, artists and even some entrepreneurs enjoy artistic careers. Since Cooper likes to communicate, he might be a creator.

'S' is for social. These people are the helpers. They enjoy working with others. Psychologists, teachers and doctors are examples of helpers. Besides creators, helpers are also very big on communication, though creators are usually more about expressing themselves, while helpers are usually more focused on hearing others express themselves.

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