Quick Facts

  • 2.1 million people walked away from their jobs in a single month in 2012, the most since the start of the great recession. –U.S. Dept. of Labor
  • Top reasons for career disengagement: feeling unsatisfied, frustrated and unfulfilled.

Strong Interest Inventory®

The Strong Interest Inventory® assessment is one of the world’s most widely respected and frequently used career planning tools. It has helped both academic and business organizations develop the brightest talent and has guided thousands of individuals—from high school and college students to midcareer workers seeking a change—in their search for a rich and fulfilling career.

Explore the Strong Model

For providing a theoretical structure to the Strong, in 1974 John Holland’s psychology-based codes were incorporated into the assessment. Holland’s theory is based on four main assumptions:

  1. In our culture, most people can be categorized into six Themes and each person may be characterized by one Theme or some combination.
  2. Job environments can be divided into these same six Themes and each environment is dominated by a particular type of person. Thus, the personality types of co-workers, as much as job requirements, establish the working tenor of a given occupation.
  3. People search for environments that let them exercise their skills and abilities, express their attitudes and values, take on problems and roles they find stimulating and satisfying, and avoid chores or responsibilities they find distasteful or formidable.
  4. Behavior is determined by an interaction between a person’s personality and the characteristics of his or her working environment. Factors such as job performance, satisfaction, and stability are influenced by this interaction.

As shown below, Holland’s theory organizes the six Themes by placing them at the six points of a hexagon with those presumed to be the most closely related located adjacent to each other and those most dissimilar located across the hexagon from each other. The order in which they fall around the hexagon is frequently called the R-I-A-S-E-C order. The Strong is the only empirically derived RIASEC assessment.

Why It’s Popular

The Strong Interest Inventory assessment is a trusted tool because it is:

  • Empirically based
  • Underpinned by rigorous science and research
  • Regularly updated to reflect changes in today’s world of work
  • Backed by excellent support and guidance through CPP’s global distributor network
  • “I want to choose a career that I’m going to be happy with for the rest of my life. After taking the Strong I realized that I want to be something where I interact with people on a daily basis.”

    Nathalia Cisneros, First Year College Student

  • “We have been using the Strong in our career development classes for employees for a number of years. We want to help our employees identify their key areas of interest so they can better leverage their skills. Our goal is to improve employee engagement, ultimately leading to higher rates of employee retention.”

    Bob Klein Schmidt, Senior Organization Development Consultant
    The Johns Hopkins University

  • “It’s very helpful especially for students like me who came in undeclared or who were unsure. The Strong gave me permission to explore other kinds of things...”

    Jose Martinez, First Year College Student


How It Helps

The Strong Interest Inventory assessment is ideal for a wide range of applications, including the following:

  • Choosing a college major—helps students uncover their career interests and identify which areas of study are appropriate or required for a particular field
  • Career exploration—opens up the world of work to first-time career seekers and those considering career transition by identifying their interests and demonstrating how they relate to various occupations and careers
  • Career development—helps heighten individuals’ self-awareness and provide deeper understanding of individual strengths and blind spots, including work style and risk-taking orientation
  • Employee engagement—helps employees align their interests with areas of responsibility in their job that reflect those interests
  • Reintegration—helps individuals navigate the reintroduction process after a period of disconnection

Featured Case Studies


Strong Brand Portfolio

A comprehensive portfolio of manuals, guides, reports, and other products and services is available, including the following:

  • iStartStrong® Report—puts self-discovery into the hands of anyone seeking career direction. Utilizing two of the four Strong Interest Inventory scales, the iStartStrong™ Report serves as the admission pass to the world of career exploration.
  • Strong Profile, College Edition—identifies specific college courses and academic majors that fit participants’ interests and preferences, and offers encouragement to express unique interests and personal style to help make the college experience more personally enriching
  • Where Do I Go Next? Using Your Strong Results to Manage Your Career—helps individuals work through their Strong results so they can better understand their interests and target their most promising career path
  • Strong Interest Inventory® User’s Guide: Practitioner’s Tool for Understanding, Interpretation, and Use of the Strong Profile and Interpretive Report—offers practical insights on administration and interpretation of the Strong; includes strategies, resources, and tools for efficient, meaningful delivery of assessment results to individuals and groups
  • Strong Interest Inventory® Manual with Supplement: Research, Development, and Strategies for Interpretation—provides comprehensive guidance for understanding and administering the Strong assessment, and for helping students, career changers, and employees find meaningful direction

Get Started

Three Routes...

  • iStartStrong™ Report (no certification required)
    Designed to be used by individuals without an interpretation session; thus the Strong may be administered for the specific purpose of generating the iStartStrong report.
  • Strong Interest Inventory® Certification Program
    The Strong Interest Inventory® Certification Program certifies new users to purchase, administer, and interpret the Strong assessment and provides experienced users with new interpretation strategies and updated research. Learn more about our certification program offerings.
  • Educational Eligibility
    Many practitioners are able to purchase CPP products right away by verifying their educational and/or professional license eligibility. If you hold a master’s or doctoral degree in psychology or a related field and/or hold a specific state license or national or state certification, you are considered educationally eligible. If you hold the appropriate credentials, applying for eligibility is as simple as completing a brief form. Learn more about Educational Eligibility Requirements.