Career Personality Types

One of the earliest theories of how to help students choose a career comes from John L. Holland, a researcher who outlined 6 Career Personality Types. While students today may not follow a strict trajectory of choosing a career when they graduate and staying with that career until retirement, this theory is still useful as a jumping off point for understanding what your student-employees may be interested in pursuing.

  1. Realistic: Realistic personalities prefer jobs that involve some physical work and allow them to solve concrete, tangible problems. These employees tend to value stability and practicality.
  2. Investigative: Investigative personalities prefer jobs involving ideas, theories, scientific research, and mathematical analysis. These employees tend to value independence and curiosity.
  3. Artistic: Artistic personalities prefer aesthetic, creative, and unstructured jobs that value imagination, self-expression, and originality.
  4. Social: Social personalities prefer jobs involving the care, support, education, and influence of others. These employees tend to value cooperation, relationships, and community.
  5. Enterprising: Enterprising personalities prefer jobs that are highly entrepreneurial and involve risk-taking and leadership. These employees tend to value influence and ambition.
  6. Conventional: Conventional personalities prefer jobs that have explicit and organized activities, such as record keeping, organizing data, and computations. These employees tend to value structure, order, and precision.

Encourage your students to explore our Student Resources to help them begin to discover what their career personality might be.