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  • Kuder Career Essentials Training

    MODULE 1

    Career Guidance Theory

    There is nothing as practical as a good theory, and practice should always be based on well-researched theory. Several theories prove useful for providing career guidance to students and adults, but few are as well researched or practical as that of Dr. John L. Holland. For that reason, his theory has been adopted as the basis for the Kuder assessments of interests and skills. This module will explain that theory and its practical application. You will find it useful both in understanding My Education Online (ME Online), a customised version of the Kuder Career Planning System (KCPS) for Tasmania, and in your day-to-day work with students/clients.

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    The Theory ItselfHollands theory can be summarised in four statements:

    The personalities of individuals can be described as a combination of six types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional.

    Environments (including occupations, specific jobs, programs of study, and leisure activities) can be described as a combination of the same six types.

    Persons of a given type are attracted by environments of the same or similar type.

    Placing oneself in an environment of the same type, or one very similar to ones own type, is likely to bring satisfaction to the individual and benefits to an employer.

    Descriptions of the Six Holland TypesFollowing is a brief summary of each of the six Holland types of people. They are fully described in Hollands book Making Vocational Choices: A Theory of Vocational Personalities and Work Environments (1997), and on numerous websites.

    Realistic (R)

    Likes to work with tools, objects, machines, or animals.

    Develops manual, mechanical, agricultural, and/or electrical skills.

    Prefers occupations that involve building or repairing things.

    Tends to be down-to-earth and practical.

    Gains satisfaction from seeing a tangible job completed.

    Investigative (I)

    Likes activities involving the biological and physical sciences.

    Develops mathematics and science ability.

    Prefers occupations in scientific and medical fields.

    Tends to be curious, studious, and independent.

    Likes and has the ability to develop new ways of doing things.

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    Artistic (A)

    Likes creative activities free from routine.

    Develops skills in language, art, music, and drama.

    Prefers occupations using creative talents.

    Tends to be creative and free-thinking.

    Tends to avoid activities that require a schedule or conformity.

    Social (S)

    Likes activities that involve informing, teaching, and helping others.

    Develops the ability to work with people.

    Prefers jobs such as teaching, nursing, and counselling.

    Tends to be helpful and friendly.

    Finds satisfaction in making a contribution to others lives.

    Enterprising (E)

    Likes leading or influencing other people.

    Develops leadership ability, persuasiveness, and other people skills.

    Prefers occupations involving sale of products or management of people.

    Tends to be ambitious, outgoing, energetic, and self-confident.

    Works with people for the purpose of selling them a product or managing them.

    Conventional (C)

    Likes organising information or things in an orderly way.

    Develops organizational, clerical, and computational skills.

    Prefers occupations involving record keeping, mathematical, keyboarding, or computer operation.

    Tends to be responsible, dependable, and detail-oriented.

    Gains satisfaction by organising activities so that they function smoothly.

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    Holland personality types are typically expressed as a three-letter code, such as SEA, RCE, or IER. The first letter in the code describes the persons most characteristic personality traits and interests while the second and third letters describe interests and personality characteristics in descending importance. For example, we might describe a person with the code of SEC as follows: This individual really likes to work with people face to face to help them in some way, such as to teach them or care for their mental, spiritual, or physical needs (S). They might also like to work with people to manage, lead, or influence them in some way (E). This person also likes things to be well organized and run smoothly (C) so we would expect them to bring this interest, and potentially skill, to any activity or job.

    The primary way for students/clients to find their Holland codes is to take an assessment designed to measure their interests or skills, such as the Kuder Career Interests Assessment (KCIA) or the Kuder Skills Confidence Assessment (KSCA). Figure 1A shows a sample results report.

    Figure 1AAssessment Results with Holland Code Example

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    This profile could be called differentiated because the scores are spread from low to high. However, there are three letters I, E, and C that are higher than the others. This person should explore occupations and courses by using these three letters. The profiles of other students/clients may have one or more types in the high range with all others falling in the medium or low range. And, some people may have all six scores in the low range meaning low interest in all activities. These are the most difficult individuals to help with career planning. In general, students/clients should learn about occupations and courses whose codes match their top three codes.

    How Holland Codes Impact Choices of Occupations, Jobs, and Postsecondary CoursesHolland said that work environments or jobs can also be assigned a code. He proposed that when people work together they create an environment that reflects their personal types. For example, accountants create a work environment that could be coded CE and nurses create a work environment that could be coded SI.

    Interpretation of a Holland Code as Pathways and ClustersMy Education (ME) Online, a customized version of the Kuder Career Planning System for Tasmania, displays the results of the interests and skills assessments using the a career pathway and cluster framework. This method of organising occupations divides them into 16 industry-based (National) clusters, such as Agriculture, Architecture and Construction, Manufacturing, Health Science, and Transportation and Distribution. Each of these clusters is further subdivided into two to six career pathways, which are smaller groups of occupations that form a specialty under a cluster. There are 79 total pathways. Here are examples for two clusters:

    Cluster: Architecture and Construction

    Career Pathway 1: Construction

    Career Pathway 2: Design

    Career Pathway 3: Maintenance

    Cluster: Health Science

    Career Pathway 1: Biotechnology Research and Development

    Career Pathway 2: Diagnostic Services

    Career Pathway 3: Health Informatics

    Career Pathway 4: Support Services

    Career Pathway 5: Therapeutic Services

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    When Holland codes are used to provide results in this method of organising occupations, the interests and skills reports are listed as users top five career pathways and as all 16 clusters in descending rank order. These results are calculated by finding the pathways and the clusters that have the largest proportion of occupations in them that are coded with the users personal Holland code.

    For the interests assessment results presented with the career pathways and clusters, it would have two parts as shown in Figures 1B and 1C.

    Figure 1BKuder Career Interests Assessment Results Top Career Pathways

    This report lists the five career pathways (out of the 79 possible) that contain the highest proportion of occupations coded the same as the users personal Holland code. Users can view the definitions of each of these pathways as well as a list of either occupations or postsecondary courses at the education level chosen. These lists of occupations and courses are the closest fit for the student/client, and should be considered and explored in depth.

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    Figure 1CKuder Career Interests Assessment Results National Cluster Ranking

    A second part of the report from either the interests assessment or the skills confidence assessment, lists all 16 clusters in rank-order, from those that contain the most occupations related to the users Holland codes to those containing the least. Users should pay particular attention to the top three clusters. From the online ranking report, they can learn more about the entire cluster, watch a video, and see all occupations and postsecondary courses (by educational entry level). Typically, some of the career pathways listed on the first report are contained in the first three to five clusters on this report.

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