Vocational testing can be particularly useful for adolescents, young adults, and persons contemplating a mid-life career change. Such an assessment examines which occupations best fit with an individual’s abilities, interests, and personality. Many vocational interest tests use the Holland codes, which group interests into six categories: REALISTIC (outdoors and hands-on occupations), INVESTIGATIVE (scientific), ARTISTIC (creative), SOCIAL (counseling and teaching), ENTERPRISING (management and sales), and CONVENTIONAL (clerical). Someone with SOCIAL/INVESTIGATIVE/ARTISTIC interests who has the necessary intellect and personal characteristics would enjoy working as a psychologist.
The six Holland codes are often depicted on a wheel. Categories that are next to each other are similar, and those across from each other are very different. For instance, Enterprising and Social categories are next to each other on the wheel. Both depend heavily on skill working with people. The Conventional and Artistic categories are across from each other. Conventional occupations tend to be routine, predictable, and highly structured, whereas Artistic occupations have minimal structure and encourage creativity.