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The Holland Codes is a system to classify jobs into job categories, interest clusters, or work personality environments. In the Holland Model, these categories represent work personalities.

The work personalities are:

  • Realistic people are usually assertive and competitive, and are interested in activities requiring motor coordination, skill and strength.  People with a realistic orientation usually prefer to work a problem through by doing something, rather than talking about it, or sitting and thinking about it.  They like concrete approaches to problem solving, rather than abstract theory.  They tend to be interested in scientific or mechanical rather than cultural and aesthetic areas.  They like to work with THINGS.
  • Investigative people like to think and observe rather than act, to organize and understand information rather than to persuade.  They tend to prefer individual rather than people oriented activities.  They like to work with DATA.
  • Artistic people are usually creative, open, inventive, original, perceptive, sensitive, independent and emotional. They do not like structure and rules, like tasks involving people or physical skills, and are more likely to express their emotions than others.  They like to think, organize and understand artistic and cultural areas.  They like to work with IDEAS and THINGS.  
  • Social people seem to satisfy their needs in teaching or helping situations.  They are different than R and I Types because they are drawn more to seek close relationships with other people and are less apt to want to be really intellectual or physical.  They like to work with PEOPLE.
  • Enterprising people are good talkers, and use this skill to lead or persuade others.  They also value reputation, power, money and status, and will usually go after it.  They like to work with PEOPLE and DATA
  • Conventional people like rules and regulations and emphasize self-control.  They like structure and order, and dislike unstructured or unclear work and interpersonal situations.  They place value on  reputation, power, or status.  They like to work with DATA.

Assessments using Holland Personality Styles link vocational interests to job families. Assessments use a two or three-letter RIASEC or Holland code. Different assessments provide information on the relationship between job personalities and key characteristics, college majors, hobbies, abilities, and related careers.

Reference: John Holland (1985) Making Vocational Choices
(2nd ed.) Odessa, FL.: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.