The Strong Interest Inventory General Occupational Themes
The Strong Interest Inventory or SII is an assessment used to help people make educational and occupational choices. The inventory is a carefully constructed questionnaire that inquires about a respondent’s level of interest in a wide range of familiar items (i.e. words or short phrases describing occupations, occupational activities, hobbies, leisure activities, school subjects, and types of people). For each of the 317 items, the respondent is asked to indicate his or her preferences among three response categories on an answer sheet. The answers are then analyzed by computer to derive scores on measures of interest type, called scales. The results are then printed on a report called a profile, which presents the scale scores in an organized format and offers interpretive information.
The assessment was introduced in 1927 by E.K. Strong, a researcher at Stanford University. Since that time the Strong Interest Inventory has been revised and improved, including the addition of Holland’s RIASEC theory, which added general occupational themes to improve the quality of the instrument. Because the instrument is constantly updated, the scores received by an individual today compare that person’s interests with those of people who have responded to the inventory recently and who may be in occupations that did not exist in Dr. Strong’s day.
The current Strong Interest Inventory offers several advantages over other methods of data gathering. The first section of the profile reports results on six General Occupational Themes:
- Conventional (The “Organizers”):
Indicates an interest in problem solving through organizing. Individuals that show high scores in this occupational theme enjoy activities that permit organization of information in a clear, orderly fashion. They are detail-oriented logical, conforming, and like structure and responsible.
- Credit Manager,
- Medical Records and Health Information Technician,
- Air Traffic Controllers,
- Financial Analyst,
- Business Education Teacher
- Realistic (The “Do-ers”):
Indicates an interest in solving problems by hands-on activity. Individuals that show high scores in this occupational theme enjoy working with machines, tools, objects, and animals. They are practical, reserved, and get pleasure from work that involves physical activity. They often enjoy working outdoors on concrete problems and seeing tangible results.
- Law Enforcement Officer,
- Landscape/Grounds Manager,
- Athletic Trainer
- Investigative (The “Thinkers”):
Indicates an interest in abstract problem solving. Individuals that show high scores in this occupational theme tend to be methodical, original, and logical. They enjoy researching and exploring ideas, collecting and analyzing data, and solving problems of a conceptual nature.
- Software Developer,
- Artistic (The “Creators”):
Indicates an interest in solving problems through creativity and innovation. Individuals that show high scores in this occupational theme enjoy being original, independent, self-expressive, innovative, and unstructured. They are often skilled in music, art, drama, language, and writing.
- Broadcast Journalist,
- Corporate Trainer,
- Urban & Regional Planner,
- Public Relations Director
- Enterprising (The “Persuaders”):
Indicates an interest in solving problems by persuading. Individuals that show high scores in this occupational theme seek to use words and feelings in dealing with people to motivate, persuade, manage, and sell things or promote ideas. They tend to be assertive, outgoing, ambitious, enthusiastic, influential, and goal oriented.
- Travel Consultant,
- Restaurant Manager,
- Human Resources Manager,
- Purchasing Agent