SDS for professionals

The SDS offers multiple options for those who wish to administer the test to others.
  • Direct your clients to this Web site to take the SDS. To make it even easier, set up a group account so that clients will have to enter only a password to receive their report. Clients will receive a customized SDS Report. 
  • Administer the SDS Form R, 5th Edition through PARiConnect. PARiConnect allows you to purchase iAdmins and reports through an online portal and send e-mailed links to your clients so that they can complete the test. Through PARiConnect, you will be able to generate the Client Interpretive Report, designed for the client, and the Professional Interpretive Report, which contains extra information to help career counselors and other professionals guide their clients’ career decision making. 
  • Purchase StandardSDS print materials through For new users, the StandardSDS Kit contains everything you need to get started—25 Assessment Booklets, 25 Occupations Finders, 25 You and Your Career Booklets, and an SDS Educational Opportunities Finder--plus a handy Professional Manual. Of course, individual kit components are always available a la carte. Visit the SDS products page to learn more about SDS products.

About the SDS

The SDS was created in 1970 as a platform for delivering John Holland’s six-pronged theory of vocational personality types to people in need of career guidance. Based on decades of learning and research that shaped and refined Holland’s ideas, the SDS sprouted from Holland’s Vocational Preference Inventory (VPI), which pioneered the use of occupational lists in career inventories.

Holland’s theory and the RIASEC typology, which is the basis of the SDS, continues to dominate research and practice within the field of career counseling. Standardized using a sample of 1,739 people, the SDS exhibits sound reliability and validity.

Who is John Holland?

John Holland, PhD became interested in personality types during his three-year stint in the Army. Experience as a career counselor and frustration with existing career tests led to the development of an unstandardized, rudimentary form that used occupational titles as items and grouped them into scales, planting the seeds of the RIASEC hexagon. Two theory revisions (and nearly two decades) later, Holland released the SDS. Even after his retirement in 1980, Holland continued to hone his theory, eventually developing the Career Attitudes and Strategies Inventory in 1994.

Holland obtained his doctorate from the University of Minnesota and died in 2008. A more comprehensive biography is also available.

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