The Self-Directed Search® – Fifth Edition is an online assessment that is designed to help clients learn about themselves and their career options.
The SDS® is based on John Holland’s theory that people and work environments can be classified according to six basic types: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. These personality types are collectively known as the Holland RIASEC model. This easy-to-use comprehensive career exploration tool asks questions about the individual’s aspirations, activities, competencies, occupations, and other self-estimates. The resulting three-letter Summary Code designates the three personality types (based on Holland’s RIASEC) an individual most closely resembles. This information is used to help the individual find an occupational match.
Age Range (yrs)
Method of Administration/Format
Approx. Time to Administer
Self-Directed Search® – Fifth Edition (2013)
Individual, computer-based administration; Spanish version available
The report includes a summary code that can be used to generate lists of occupations, fields of study, and leisure activities. The three-letter summary code represents the three RIASEC types that match the student’s activities and interests. It also provides additional resources.
25-35 min. to administer; 10 min. to score
Subscales include: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional.