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Strong Interest Inventory®: How Stable are the Results?

One of the common questions people have after taking the Strong is, "Will my results change in a few years if I take the test again?" This is of particular interest to young people and their parents, particularly when they are thinking about future careers or college majors.

The short answer is results on the Strong are generally quite stable, even over long time periods. There is a research study that compared people's occupations after five years. At the first point in time, the 12,100 male participants between the ages of 41 and 55 were classified by one of six job types as Holland describes in his theory (RIASEC). These are the same six personality types seen on the Strong Interest Inventory. Five years later, the 12,100 men were surveyed again. The same was done with a group of women (5,779 participants). Remember that both occupations and people can be classified by Holland's theory.

The results showed that 89% of the men and 88% of the women were in the same kinds of occupations five years later. In other words, people who were working in Realistic occupations at the beginning of the study were very likely to still be in Realistic occupations five years later. In this example, about 93% of men and 88% of women were still in Realistic occupations five years later. The same was true for other types: 85% of men in Investigative jobs were still in the same type of job after five years, as were 81% of the women. Even Artistic types were stable: 85% of the men and 82% of the women were in similar positions.

Of course, the numbers of male participants in Realistic and Enterprising jobs were the highest, while Artistic were the lowest. Overall, Realistic jobs made up 58%, Enterprising jobs 16%, and Artistic jobs less than 2% of the male occupations. For women, the numbers were slightly different: 28% Realistic, 34% Conventional, 19% Social and less than 1% Artistic jobs.

Still, the bottom line for both groups is the same: most people tend to stay in the same kinds of occupations.

 

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