The Advanced Self-Directed Search (ASDS)

The Advanced Self-Directed System is an online application. The software was developed with intention to assist individuals to identify the occupation that suits the student best. This application uses Professor Dr. John Holland’s Theory of Vocational Choice as the basis to provide career recommendations. Enhanced features within the application includes of trend analysis to ensure high accuracy for analysis.

The Theory ofVocational Choice is one of the most widely researched and applied theories of career development. The US government maintains the O*Net center that uses this theory to provide continuous support and development for its nation.

Overview of the Theory of Vocational Choice

Professor Dr. John Holland’s work on this can be traced back to the 1950s. His theory groups people and the environment into six dominant types. The six types yield the RIASEC acronym for Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional.

Both personality and environments are expressed in three-letter codes. These three-letter codes are formed by selecting the RAISEC acronym that most closely characterize the person or his or her work-school environment. This three letter code provides a brief summary of what a person is like by showing the degree of resemblance to three occupational groups. For example, the three-letter code of CER suggests that the person has a dominant Conventional personality but also possesses the Enterprising and Realistic characteristics to a somewhat lesser degree.

People search for environments that allow them to exercise their skills and abilities, express their attitudes and values, and assume agreeable circumstances and roles.

A person’s behavior is determined by an interaction between his or her personality and the characteristics of the environment. The level of congruence (or agreement) between a person and an occupation (environment) can be estimated by a hexagonal model. The small the distance between the personality type and the occupational type, the close the relationship.

While most research and published material related to Holland’s theory of vocational choice have addressed career decision-making issues confronting youth and individuals early in their career development, the theory has been implemented well beyond these groups. Business and public organizations, for instance, have used Holland’s theory of vocational choice in human resource matters ranging from employee selection and staffing decisions to developing mentoring and succession-planning programs. The theory is also used in litigation involving disputes about earning capacity. A career counselor serving as an expert witness in a dissolution-of-marriage case, for example, could apply Holland’s theory as a partial basis for proposing a plan to help a spouse’s reintegration into the workplace after a period of absence or underemployment. Holland’s theory is also widely used among vocational-rehabilitation counselors who assist persons with disabilities in re-examining their objectives and career development after acquired disabling problems interfere with or otherwise alter how they can proceed.