Holland Theory and Application

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John Holland made his mark from 1953-1556 while working at Vocational Counseling Service in Perry Point Veterans Hospital followed by his work as the Director of Research for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. His work at these two organizations leads to the first edition of Vocational Preference Inventory. In 1959, John Holland was published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology for his vocational theory (Gottfredson & Johnstun, 2009). He established his theory of matching people to vocations in the world of work. Although the trait and factor approach was established in 1909, John Holland took it a step further using the Army as his model (Bolles & Figler, 1999). John Holland was quoted, “I am a psychologist who pays attention to the obvious” (Bolles & Figler, 1999, p. 63). This was the theme of his theory. Holland theory is about the fit of the individual to the work environment. Some clients will be better suited for certain working environments and poorly matched to others (Anderson & Vandehey, 2012). The Holland theory is based on identification of people environment, skills, and values leading into six occupational categories known as ‘RIASEC’ (realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional) (Bolles & Figler, 1999). Although each category is consider a unaltered type of personality most clients will not fit into just one type. Holland’s theory assigns them a set of two or three of the types (Anderson & Vandehey, 2012). The first of Holland’s types, realistic, are clients who have athletic or mechanical ability, work with objects, machines, tools, plants, animals and the outdoors. Realistic client will be competent in reading blue prints, repair of furniture, making mechanical types of drawings, using special instruments such as a voltmeter, and will also have good math and mechanical backgrounds. They will also have interests in woodwork, metal work, and easily work with tools....
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