What is the SDS?

The next generation of John Holland’s Self-Directed Search® (SDS®) is a career assessment and exploration tool that matches your aspirations, activities, and talents to the career choices and educational opportunities that fit you best.

The SDS is part of Aspira360, a Web-based portal that will streamline and enhance the career search experience.

The RIASEC Hexagon - Consists of 6 parts - R for Realistic, I for Investigative, A for Artistic, S for Social, E for Enterprising, and C for Conventional

How does it work?

The SDS is based on a theory developed by John Holland, known as RIASEC theory, that both people and work environments can be classified according to six basic types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. These personality types are known together as RIASEC.

The assessment asks questions about an individual’s aspirations, activities, competencies, interests, and other self-estimates. It takes only about 20 minutes to complete.

At the end of the online assessment, an interactive, customized report is generated. Depending on your answers, you will receive a StandardSDS report, a StudentSDS report, or a or VeteranSDS report.


Your online report includes:
  • A personalized Summary Code, which is based on the results of the assessment.
  • A description of each of the six RIASEC types.
  • A personalized list of occupations and fields of study associated with the user’s Summary Code, which can be further customized.
  • An additional personalized list of occupations based on the user’s daydream occupations.
  • An overview of salary data associated with favorite occupations.
  • A list of additional careers organized by career cluster, which can be used for an even deeper self-directed search.
  • Links to resources to assist users with educational and career planning.

Ready to get started?

Take the SDS Opens in new window and find out where you stand!