Jackson Vocational Interest Inventory

The Jackson Vocational Interest Inventory (commonly known as the Jackson Vocational Interest Survey or JVIS) is a standardized, normed career interest test that was first published by Douglas Jackson in 1977 after 8 years of research on vocational roles and styles. With the use of factor analytic and related multivariate techniques, Jackson created a unique career assessment tool, published by Sigma Assessment Systems.

The test consists of 289 pairs of statements describing occupational activities. Using an ipsative-choice A-B model, the user will make choices that result in normative scores on 34 work roles and styles scales. The test requires less than an hour to complete. As is stated in the JVIS Technical Manual, the internal consistency reliability from the most recent analyses ranged from .54 to .88 with a median of .72 for the Basic Interest Scales and from .70 to .93 with a median of .88 for the General Occupational Themes. Test-retest reliability coefficients based on an interval of 4 to 6 weeks ranged from .69 to .92 with a median of .82 for the Basic Interest Scales.

The resultant profile contains four major components: (1) Basic Interest Scales, (2) General Occupational Themes, (3) Similarity to College Students, and (4) Similarity to Job Groups. The JVIS is the only standardized career assessment tool to include the Similarity to College Students scales, which provide a unique opportunity for the career practitioner to compare the client’s interest in the training and practice of a work sector.

There are four versions of the JVIS Report. The Basic Report is hand-scored and results in only the Basic Interest Scales. The full report, containing all of the four major components, can be generated through mail-in scoring, onsite scoring software, and Web-based scoring.

The Web-based version, first published in 1996, has provided a powerful career-assessment tool. Depending on the printer used, this version generates a 25-page hypertexted profile, which is PIN-protected to the user. The profile contains hotlinks to professional Web sites related to the high-scoring job groups. The last part of this report, titled “Where to Go From Here,” contains Web-based resources and books that assist the user in pursuing further career research.

The JVIS has been effectively used by career practitioners for clients in the full range of career development: adolescents, career transitioners, and retirees. Significant research on the General Occupational Themes by Marc Verhoeve, cybertraining consultant for Sigma Assessment Systems, has resulted in some innovative applications in team management and group counseling. The Web-based JVIS is now used worldwide directly by clients and by career practitioners. Global training is provided by Sigma Assessment Systems utilizing a teletraining model.


  1. Sigma Assessment Systems. (2000). JVIS manual (2nd ed.). Port Huron, MI: Author.
  2. Sigma Assessment Systems. (2000). JVIS professional applications handbook (2nd ed.). Port Huron, MI: Author.

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