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Strong Interest Inventory®: What's the Learning Environment Scale?

Simply put, this scale shows whether people prefer academic learning or more practically oriented, hands-on learning. This scale will NOT predict academic success. It shows which environment is most comfortable for the person.

It's more common for those who score highest on the Artistic scale to score towards the Academic pole, reflecting the scale's central cultural and verbal content. This pole is also moderately correlated with the Investigative theme because of the research component.

There are large differences on this scale among college majors. Those who prefer the Academic pole tend to study language or literature, history, journalism, physical sciences, and social sciences. Those who prefer the Practical pole tend to study things such as the machine trades, vocational-technical subjects, business, law enforcement, and agriculture.

Scores of 55 and above are common for people who engage in professions that require a great deal of academic preparation, such as PhDs. Scores of 45 and below are more common for people in occupations that require practical training of a limited duration. Still, it's quite common for college students to score below 50.

Here are some jobs for those who prefer the Academic pole: College professor, Geographer, Lawyer, Physicist, Psychologist, and Public Administrator. In contrast, jobs at the Practical end of the spectrum include Auto Mechanic, Dental Assistant, Farmer, Hair Stylist, and Nurse (LPN).

Once again, be careful about choosing an occupation based on your score on this scale. Avoid using your score as an excuse or reason to do something. If you scored towards the Practical pole, you can still be a doctor, for example. Likewise, if you came out near the Academic pole, you can still be a business major. The medical field is a good example of how wide the range of education can be. Some programs for lower level technical skills can be completed in less than a year. Others require many years of training and preparation.

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