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One of the most respected and widely used career interest inventories in the world is now revised and updated to meet the needs of today’s clients.

Self-Directed Search® (SDS®), 5th Edition
John L. Holland, PhD and Melissa A. Messer, MHS
Purpose:Assess career interests
Age range:11 to 70 years
Admin:Self-report; Individual or group
Admin time:25-35 minutes to administer; 10 minutes to score
Scoring time:10 minutes
Qualification level:A
Click here for pricing.
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The fifth edition of the SDS is designed to help clients learn about themselves and their career options. Whether they are college students choosing a major, veterans entering the civilian job market, or adults pursuing a career change, clients can use the SDS to learn more about occupations that match their interests, abilities, and personalities.

Like its predecessors, the SDS 5th Edition is based on John Holland’s theory that both people and work environments can be classified according to six basic types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. These personality types are known collectively as the Holland RIASEC model.

The SDS asks questions about the individual’s aspirations, activities, competencies, and level of interest in different occupations. From the responses, the SDS generates a three-letter Summary Code, which can be used to help the individual find his or her educational and occupational matches.

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, which designates the three personality types an individual most closely resembles, can then be used to help the individual find his or her occupational match.

Features and benefits

  • Applies to all stages of life. The components of the SDS 5th Edition can be used together for educational planning and career development, as well as leisure and retirement planning.
  • Includes brand-new normative data. Normative data were derived from a nationally representative sample of 1,739 students and adults.
  • Features enhanced digital access. Self-directed-search.com has been completely retooled to allow public access to the test at a low cost and also to include comprehensive online SDS resources. Plus, the SDS 5th Edition is available on PARiConnect, our trusted online assessment system.
  • Is well studied and psychometrically sound. The SDS is one of the most thoroughly studied career assessment tools: it has been used in more than 1,500 studies.
  • Sets the standard for career assessment. Used by more than 35 million people worldwide, the SDS was originally written by John Holland, the creator of the popular RIASEC theory of vocational personality.
  • Uses a continually updated occupations resource. SDS Summary Codes are linked to occupations found in the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) database, a major occupational site used by consumers and professionals.

To find a great career, students need a solid career plan—watch our video to see why!

Fifth edition test components

  • The Assessment Booklet is the basis of the test. It includes sections for clients to rate the activities and occupations that interest them; it also allows clients to rate their own abilities and competencies. The booklet provides guidance for interpreting the Summary Code, as well as resources and next steps for the user.
  • The Occupations Finder is an index of Summary Codes for occupations in the O*NET database. O*NET codes are included for each occupation, making it easy for clients to learn more about the occupations that correspond to their code.
  • The You and Your Career booklet explains Holland’s RIASEC model in more detail; it provides strategies for making career decisions and resources for further career exploration.
  • The Educational Opportunities Finder™ helps users identify programs of study that are associated with their Summary Codes.
  • The Leisure Activities Finder™ identifies more than 800 leisure activities that match the personality types identified by the SDS.
  • The SDS Professional Manual provides complete practical information about the SDS, including the theory underlying the SDS, guidelines for administration and scoring, and information about interpreting results. A Fast Guide is included with your purchase of the manual.
Accessing the SDS online: New options mean easier access and better reports!
Number of administrations/ reports Price (each)
1-4 $9.95
5-49 $8.95
50-299 $7.95
300 or more $6.95

There are two ways to direct your clients to take the Self-Directed Search online.

  • Visit our SDS-dedicated Web site, www.self-directed-search.com. This site has beencompletely revamped, enabling users not only to complete the test but also to learnmore about the history, theory, and applications of the SDS. Targeted resourcesections, supplemental information and links, case studies, and more are all packaged in a brand-new, contemporary design. Plus, thetest itself has been updated–it is completely consistent with the just-released SDS 5th Edition print components. Clients who take theSDS through this site will receive the new SDS Client Report, which contains their three-letter Summary Code and a list of occupationsand majors for all permutations of the code. The online test is now available in Spanish!
  • Administer the SDS through PARiConnect, our easy-to-use online assessment system. Functionality though PARiConnect allows you topurchase i-Admins and reports separately. You may administer the inventory on-screen, in your office; e-mail a test link to a remoteclient; or enter data from a paper-and-pencil administration. The SDS Client Report and the SDS Professional Report, which includesadditional interpretive and statistical information, are available. PARiConnect requires registration–visit www.pariconnect.com to get started.
Volume discounts available!

Wondering how your colleagues are using the SDS? Read our latest case studies.

Item numberProduct descriptionList price
WW-10473-KTSDS Form R 5th Ed. Kit
includes SDS 5th Ed. Professional Manual and Fast Guide, 25 Assessment Booklets, 25 Occupations Finders, and 25 You and Your Career Booklets, plus one BONUS copy each of the Leisure Activities Finder, Revised for the 5th Ed., the Educational Opportunities Finder, Revised for the 5th Ed., and a certificate for 5 FREE SDS 5th Ed. Score Reports on PARiConnect
Manuals, Books, and Equipment
Item numberProduct descriptionList price
WW-10474-TMSDS Form R, 5th Ed. Professional Manual
includes Fast Guide
WW-10506-EKSDS Form R 5th Ed. e-Manual (includes Fast Guide e-Manual)
e-Manuals are not returnable. Please see our FAQ before ordering e-Manuals.
Forms and Booklets
Item numberProduct descriptionList price
WW-10477-ABSDS Form R 5th Ed. Assessment Booklets (pkg/25)$50.00
WW-10478-ABSDS Form R 5th Ed. Occupations Finders (pkg/25)$65.00
WW-10479-IASDS Form R 5th Ed. You and Your Career Booklets (pkg/25)$35.00
WW-10480-STSDS Form R 5th Ed. Assessment Booklets and Occupations Finders (pkg/25 each)$99.00
WW-10481-STSDS Form R 5th Ed. Combination Package
includes 25 Assessment Booklets, 25 Occupations Finders, and 25 You and Your Career Booklets
WW-10482-ABSDS Educational Opportunities Finders, Revised for the 5th Ed. (pkg/25)$65.00
WW-10483-ABSDS Leisure Activities Finders, Revised for the 5th Ed. (pkg/25)$75.00
WW-10484-ABSDS Veterans and Military Occupations Finders (pkg/10)$35.00
WW-10505-STSDS Veterans and Military Combination Package
includes 10 5th Ed. Assessment Booklets, 10 5th Ed. Occupations Finders, and 10 Veterans and Military Occupations Finders
Related Products
Veterans and Military Occupations Finder™
Self-Directed Search® (SDS®), 5th Edition for PARiConnect
Self-Directed Search® (SDS®), 5th Edition: Internet Version
Self-Directed Search® (SDS®) Form R, 5th Ed. Spanish Version

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