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The Strong Interest Inventory

Occupational Theme Circular Chart

The Strong Interest Inventory® assessment is one of the world’s most widely respected and frequently used career planning tools. It has helped both academic and business organizations develop the talent and has guided thousands of people—from high school and college students to midcareer workers seeking a change—in their search for a rich and fulfilling career.

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From Dr. Strong to SuperStrong

Dr. Edward K. Strong, Jr. (1884–1963) was the first author of the Strong Interest Inventory assessment and the first psychologist to devote a career to the measurement and study of vocational interests. The SuperStrong assessment carries on Dr. Strong's work through accessible self-interpretable access to career and educational exploration.

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The SuperStrong Assessment

Take a look at one of our featured assessments, the SuperStrong.

The Holland Code

Dr. John Holland’s theory of personality types and work environments was added to the Strong Assessment in its 1974 revision. The Strong is the only empirically derived RIASEC assessment. Holland’s theory is based on four main assumptions:

1. Most people can be categorized into one or some combination of the six RIASEC Themes.
2. Work environments can be divided into these six Themes and each is suited for a certain type of person.
3. People seek environments that complement their personality and avoid work that they do not like.
4. The match between a person's personality and their work environment influences their job performance, satisfaction, and stability.








the doers

Doers are likely to be found fixing, building, or tinkering. Friends would describe them as independent, practical, modest, and sometimes stubborn.
College Majors
  • Agriculture
  • Natural Resources
  • Hospitality
  • Health Services
  • Administrative Justice
  • Civil Engineering
Work Style
Doers want to dress comfortably and work somewhere with few distractions. They just want to get in there and get the job done.
  • Mechanic
  • Firefighter
  • Electrician
  • Forester
  • Farmer
  • Surgeon


the thinkers

Thinkers are likely to be working, or researching for fun. Friends would describe them as inquisitive, and good at playing trivia.
College Majors
  • Math
  • History
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Philosophy
Work Style
Thinkers like to work on difficult problems that take time and effort to solve. They're not likely to enjoy repetitive and unsurprising work.
  • Technician
  • Scientist
  • Optometrist
  • Analyst
  • Web Developer
  • Professor


the creators

Creators are likely to be creating, admiring, or collecting art. Friends would describe them as spontaneous, independent, fun, and sometimes dramatic.
College Majors
  • Sociology
  • Journalism
  • English
  • Music
  • Graphic Design
  • Dance
Work Style
Creators enjoy work that doesn't involve a lot of rules or predictability. They want freedom and flexibility to do their magic.
  • Attorney
  • Reporter
  • Illustrator
  • Author
  • Anthropologist
  • Game Designer


the helpers

Helpers are likely to be found volunteering or using social media. Friends would describe them as warm, outgoing, and cooperative.
College Majors
  • Advertising
  • Education
  • Communications
  • Hospitality
  • Management
  • Medicine
Work Style
Helpers want to be around people as much as possible. They want to give advice, get advice, and solve problems through talking.
  • Therapist
  • Tour Guide
  • Teacher
  • Nurse
  • Counselor
  • Social Worker


the persuaders

Persuaders are likely to be found organizing a party or competing in an event. Friends would describe them as intense, energetic, and decisive.
College Majors
  • Management
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Law
  • Public Speaking
  • Finance
Work Style
Persuaders often like to take the lead and rally others to get something done. They like to delegate and organize coworkers to accomplish more work.
  • Lawyer
  • Florist
  • Investor
  • Realtor
  • Salesperson
  • Flight Attendant


the organizers

Organizers are likely to be playing games or buying collectibles. Friends would describe them as well-mannered, practical, and accurate.
College Majors
  • Accounting
  • Business
  • Legal Studies
  • Finance
  • Math
  • Computer Science
Work Style
Organizers enjoy turning chaos into order. They are likely to enjoy work that involves a lot of details that need to be reviewed and sorted into a system.
  • Paralegal
  • Banker
  • Pharmacist
  • Administrator
  • Professor
  • Librarian

Further Reading

Reliability and Validity

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Validity Research

Studies have found the GOTs to be predictive of work-related variables (Donnay & Borgen, 1996; Rottinghaus, Lindley, Green & Borgen, 2002).

Research has shown the BISs can accurately distinguish occupations (Borgen & Lindley, 2003; Isaacs, Borgen, Donnay & Hansen, 1997; Larson & Borgen, 2002).

Validity of the PSSs has been supported through research showing their relationships with the Skills Confidence Inventory (Tuel & Betz, 1998) and MBTI instruments (Hammer & Kummerow, 1996).

Validity of the OSs has been demonstrated in research showing their ability to predict the occupations that people will eventually enter (Strong, 1935, 1955; Campbell, 1966; Harmon, 1969; Hansen & Swanson, 1983; Dirk & Hansen, 2004).


    Borgen, F. H., & Lindley, L. D. (2003). Optimal functioning in interests, self-efficacy, and personality. In W. B. Walsh (Ed.), Counseling psychology and optimal human functioning (pp. 55-91). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Press.

    Campbell, D. P. (1966). Occupations 10 years later of high school seniors with high scores on the SVIB life insurance salesman scale. Journal of Applied Psychology, 50, 369-372.

    Dirk, B. J., & Hansen, J. C. (2004, February). Development and validation of discriminant functions for the Strong Interest Inventory®. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 64 (1), 182-197.

    Donnay, D. A. C., & Borgen, F. H. (1996). Validity, structure, and content of the 1994 Strong Interest Inventory®. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 43, 275-291.

    Hammer, A. L., & Kummerow, J. K. (1996). Strong and MBTI® career development guide (rev. ed.). Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc.

    Hansen, J. C., & Swanson, J. L. (1983). Stability of interests and the predictive and concurrent validity of the 1981 Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory for college majors. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 30, 194-201.
    Rottinghaus, P. J., Lindley, L. D., Green, M. A., & Borgen, F. H. (2002). Educational aspirations: The contribution of personality, self-efficacy, and interests. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 61, 1-19.

    Strong, E. K., Jr. (1935). Predictive value of the Vocational Interest Test. Journal of Educational Psychology, 26, 332.

    Strong, E. K., Jr. (1955). Vocational interests 18 years after college. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

    Tuel, B. D., & Betz, N. E. (1998). Relationships of career self-efficacy expectations to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and the Personal Style Scales. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 31, 150-163.

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