In doing research on how to help my oldest son select a college major, I learned about Holland personality codes and their success in helping choose the right career path and college major.
The Holland Codes or the Holland Occupational Themes (RIASEC) represents a set of personality types described in a theory of careers and vocational choice formulated by the late psychologist John L. Holland beginning in the 1950s. Each letter or code stands for a particular “type”: Realistic (Doers), Investigative (Thinkers), Artistic (Creators), Social (Helpers), Enterprising (Persuaders), and Conventional (Organizers).”
The US Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA) has been using the RIASEC model in the “Interests” section of its free online database, The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) since its inception during the late 1990s.
Choosing a major certainly is one of the most important decisions we will make in our lives.I recommend that you,
Take a scientifically valid interest inventory or career test, that measures your Holland personality types. [I am liking the testing services offered at www.careerkey.org]
Use a valid list of majors organized by Holland personality types, to identify those most likely to fit your personality;
these are widely available, for example from the www.careerkey.org, or for free from the O*NET online service.
3. Research Colleges and Universities in your state that have successful programs within your area(s) of interest.
Given that where you finish matters more than where you start, you can then consider starting at a community college which transfers credits to the 4-year College or University of your choice.
via Rogue Community College:
The Holland Codes is a system to classify your work personality.
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.
Reference: John Holland (1985) Making Vocational Choices
Below is via www.CareerKey.org
By choosing a college major that matches your personality you are more likely to,
Earn higher grades,
Stick with your choice of major through to graduation,
Graduate on time, and
Be more satisfied and successful in your career.
That’s what major research studies show. It’s common sense really. You do best when doing — what interests you, and working with professors and students who share your interests, values, and abilities.
It’s based on the respected Holland theory of career choice.
According to the studies, the closer students choose a major or career that matches their Holland personality type, the more likely they are to succeed. The farther apart they are, the more likely students will do poorly.
For example, most students with a dominant Investigative personality type will do best in an Investigative major like Engineering or Microbiology, and not do well in an Enterprising major like Accounting.
And, second, choosing a college major is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.
A recent government study found that only 36 percent of 4-year college students graduated in four years, 57 percent in six — about 40 percent dropout.
The cost of dropping out, changing majors, or not graduating on time is high. For example, a recent study showed that students who are working toward a bachelor’s degree lose in earnings, on average, $46,000 (in 2008 dollars) for each additional year it takes to finish their degree. And, this does not include other possible costs like, additional loans to pay off, or the psychological costs.
Research also shows that after graduation, the major you choose affects your future job satisfaction, career opportunities and rewards.