The History of Kuder

For more than 75 years, the name Kuder has been synonymous with reliable, evidence-based career guidance solutions for people of all ages, and for populations around the world. From our humble beginnings in publishing hand-scored, pin-punched interests assessments to powering today’s cutting-edge online career planning systems, Kuder continues to provide the best resources and tools to support effective career and education planning for students and adults.

To learn more about the history of Kuder, click through the timeline below.

  • Pioneering New Methodologies

    Shortly after developing the Kuder-Richardson Formulas to estimate the internal consistency and reliability of test scales, Frederic Kuder, Ph.D., debuts the first in his line of formal inventories evaluating occupational interests.
    Kuder Preference Record


    A year after Dr. Frederic Kuder completes his doctorate degree at Ohio State University, the first Kuder Preference Record is published by the University of Chicago.

  • Leading the Way

    With several high-profile appointments an impressive number of published works to his name, Dr. Kuder becomes a leading voice and authority in the field of vocational psychology.
    Educational and Psychological Measurement


    Kuder serves for two years as a personnel methods consultant for the U.S. Social Security Board.


    Dr. Kuder launches the journal Educational and Psychological Measurement and serves as its editor for several years.


    Kuder is called upon by the U.S. Civil Service Commission to serve as chief of its Test Construction and Review Unit.

    Kuder Preference Record-Vocational, Form C


    The Kuder Preference Record-Vocational, Form C is published. It is widely used in advising World War II veterans seeking GI Bill assistance. Form CH (hand scored) has the pin-punch scoring for which Dr. Kuder becomes well known.

    Shall I Go Back to School


    While serving as chief of civilian studies for the U.S. War Department, Kuder develops several special editions of his Preference Record. He spends the next two years as a consultant to the War Department.


    Dr. Kuder, along with Dr. Donald Super and others, is a founding member of Division 17, Counseling Psychology, of the American Psychological Association (APA). He serves as its second president.


    Dr. Kuder, with Erwin Taylor and Charles Mosier, co-founds the journal Personnel Psychology.


    Kuder joins the psychology department at Duke University; he retires in 1964.

  • A Broader Reach

    By the 1950s, the Kuder Preference Record is widely used in high schools and colleges throughout the United States. It gives rise to a healthy competition with the Strong Vocational Interest Blank, which is arguably the more popular of the two, but not for long.
    Kuder Preference Record Occupational, Form D


    Kuder Preference Record Occupational, Form D is published. Like the Strong Vocational Interest Blank, it’s scored for occupational groups rather than vocational scale interests.


    Philip Roth references a Kuder Preference-like inventory in his short story “You Can’t Tell a Man by the Song He Sings” in the book Goodbye, Columbus where a character points out the fact that there are no wrong answers in what is perceived as a test.

  • Advancements through Technology

    Kuder develops an interest inventory suitable for students as early as the sixth grade, paving the way to a new era of career planning at the junior high school level. Meanwhile, the desktop computer revolutionizes Kuder’s scoring administration.
    Kuder Occupational Interest Survey, Form DD


    Kuder General Interest Survey, Form E is published. Its simple vocabulary provides reliability for grades 6-8.


    The Kuder Occupational Interest Survey, Form DD is published. This is a revision of Form D, with a smoother scoring method. This is the first of Dr. Kuder’s assessments that does not require hand scoring.


    Dr. Kuder receives the E.K. Strong Gold Medal for his contributions to interest measurement.

  • Research Milestones

    A long-range research study confirms the validity of the Kuder assessments, while Dr. Kuder presents data collected from over forty years of proprietary research in his only published book.


    Dr. Kuder asks Dr. Donald Zytowski, professor emeritus of psychology at Iowa State University, to undertake a predictive validity study of the Kuder Survey. Dr. Zytowski travels to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where Dr. Kuder has stored data from his early development research. Dr. Zytowski spends the next year attempting to find and gather occupational information for the study.


    Dr. Zytowski publishes “The Predictive Validity of the Kuder Preference Record over a 25-year span in Measurement and Evaluation in Guidance.” It details his research into the predictive validity of the Kuder Occupational Survey. A study of 1,800 people who had taken the inventory up to 25 years prior revealed careers of 60 percent had been correctly forecasted.

    Activity Interests and Occupational Choice


    Science Research Associates, a subsidiary of IBM, publishes Dr. Kuder’s book Activity Interests and Occupational Choice. The book summarizes his methods of ascertaining the homogeneity of occupations.

  • Rising Acclaim

    Kuder is celebrated in American pop culture as the career assessment of choice for schools across the nation in a major Hollywood motion picture.
    Kuder with the Leona E. Tyler Award


    For decades, the Kuder Preference Record assessment has been so widely used in schools across the United States that it’s made fun of in a famous scene in the film Caddyshack.


    Vocational scales scores are added to the Kuder Occupational Interest Survey, Form DD. CTB/McGraw-Hill develops Form DD/PC, which runs on a desktop computer.


    Dr. Kuder receives the Leona E. Tyler Award from the American Psychological Association for his sustained contribution to the field of counseling.


    The Educational Testing Service presents Dr. Kuder with an award for Distinguished Service to Measurement.

  • Passing the Torch

    At the age of 97, Dr. Kuder is in agreement that his products have a permanent home with a company whose mission is aligned with his principles. He participates in the transfer of ownership to Phil Harrington, who grows the Kuder line into the leading brand of career guidance solutions worldwide.
    The Kuder Book of People Who Like Their Work


    Motivation Research Corporation develops the Kuder Career Search Schedule.

    The Kuder Book of People Who Like Their Work is published by Motivation Press. Authors Dr. John Hornaday and Lucinda Gibson share the career stories of nearly 1,500 people.


    Phil Harrington founds Career Assessment Centers, which publishes Profiles, an assessment product that assists companies in developing profiles of employees best suited to the organization and position.

    Harrington assembles a faculty of leading experts in career development theory and directs extensive research among 100,000 key stakeholders throughout the United States to evaluate career education programs. This serves as the foundation of what will become the first research-based career development system of its kind, the Kuder® Career Planning System (KCPS).



    Career Assessment Centers becomes National Career Assessment Services, Inc. (NCASI).

    Harrington collaborates with Dr. Zytowski to devise a formal evaluation of statewide career education programs.

    NCASI develops the Iowa Career Learning Assessment® (ICLA), which is used by 15 states to evaluate career education programs. Results have a major impact on educational funding for career and technical programs across the United States.


    NCASI acquires the rights to the full line of Kuder assessments from CTB/McGraw-Hill.

    Kuder® Career Search with Person Match (KCS)

    The Kuder® Career Search with Person Match makes its debut, first in a paper version, then PC. The PC version is loaded directly onto computers and used in lab settings. Assessment takers receive results immediately.

    NCASI launches the first Internet-based Kuder assessment: the Kuder® Career Search with Person Match (KCS). Results are matched to a database of 2,000 individuals representing occupations in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.

  • Innovation and Expansion

    The beginnings of a highly interactive online career and education planning system, coupled with integrated curricula and professional development, make for an exciting time in which Kuder’s line is expanded to serve the changing needs of students and career development practitioners.


    NCASI introduces the first-of-its-kind online Kuder Electronic Career Portfolio.

    Donald Edwin Super


    NCASI acquires Dr. Super’s Work Values Inventory (SWVI-r) as an instrument to measure the importance of work values thought to be most significant in career choice and development.

    The Kuder website evolves with the addition of the Kuder® Skills Assessment (KSA) and Super’s Work Values Inventory-revised (SWV-r). The assessments are integrated into the Kuder Career Portfolio.

    Develop Your Future


    Develop Your Future I® and Develop Your Future II® are authored by JoAnn Harris-Bowlsbey, Ed.D. and Nancy S. Perry and published by NCASI. (They’re combined and renamed Direct Your Future in 2010, when the fourth edition is published).


    Kuder rebrands the Kuder Career Portfolio as the Kuder® Career Planning System™.


    The fifth edition of Take Hold of Your Future (THOYF) by JoAnn Harris-Bowlsbey, Ed.D. is published by NCASI.


    Online Career Development Facilitator Training for career guidance practitioners is offered through the Kuder subsidiary ETA, Inc.



    NCASI merges with subsidiaries ETA, Inc. and Visions Unlimited, Inc. to form Kuder, Inc. Phil Harrington serves as its president. The change reflects the organizations’ shared core missions and main focus of career assessment for all ages.


    A study of students from technical colleges in South Carolina, approximately half of whom were users of the Kuder® Career Planning System (KCPS), provides evidence that it equips students to perform better in school, transition to postsecondary education at a higher rate, use assessment scores to select postsecondary majors, and graduate from college faster.

    Research Study

    A study titled “Students’ Career Exploration & Academic Planning Behavior” is released by Wade Leuwerke, Ph.D., of Drake University, and Catalina D’Achiardi Ressler, Ph.D., of Kuder, Inc. Findings demonstrate that features of the KCPS impact secondary school students’ career exploration behavior and their engagement in the academic planning process.

    Matt Diemer, Ph.D. of Michigan State University conducts a study titled “Vocational Interests and Prospective College Majors Among Youth of Color in Poverty”. Findings show that vocational interests may help marginalized youth connect disparate phases of their work lives, and the use of instruments such as Kuder interest assessments are shown to be constructive.

    Harrington receives the Friend of Guidance Award from the Association for Career and Technical Education, Guidance and Career Development Division.

    Kuder, Inc. launches a new solution for education and business partnerships, Kuder® Connect 2 Business®.


    The Kuder® Career Planning System is significantly enhanced and re-launched to provide the most comprehensive solution for reliable career guidance for all ages. It includes three age-appropriate solutions:

    Kuder® Galaxy for pre-k through the fifth grade.

    Kuder® Navigator for middle schools and high schools.

    Kuder® Journey for postsecondary students and adults.

  • Celebrating the Past, Looking Ahead

    By the second decade of the 21st century, Kuder is a virtual company with a team around the world serving individuals and organizations from the Midwest to the Middle East. Now in its 75th year, Kuder celebrates its historic past and looks to the future with a renewed commitment to encouraging lifelong learning, development, and achievement.
    Direct Your Future


    In the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Tools for America’s Job Seekers Challenge,” Kuder® Journey receives the highest number of recommendations in the Web-Based Career Exploration Sites category among the 78 products reviewed.

    The Kuder® Community Career Needs Assessment (CCNA) makes its debut. CCNA offers a set of customized online surveys providing a comprehensive qualitative and quantitative measure of career development programs.

    The career planning curricula Direct Your Future (DYF) – formerly Develop Your Future – and Take Hold of Your Future (THOYF) by JoAnn Harris-Bowlsbey, Ed.D., are now completely online, replacing the former print editions.


    Kuder Career Advisor Training

    Kuder announces Kuder Career Advisor Training®, a flexible professional development course for individuals and organizations serving a supportive role in the career development process.

    Jerry Trusty


    Jerry Trusty, Ph.D., of The Pennsylvania State University, conducts “An Influence Study of Kuder® Navigator on High School Seniors”. The study shows Navigator has a measureable impact on students’ academic performance, transitions, and completion. The study further revealed that students gained hope for the future by using Navigator.

    The Kuder assessments are enhanced. Now even more reliable and bias-free, they’re renamed the Kuder® Career Interests Assessment™, the Kuder® Skills Confidence Assessment™, and the Kuder® Work Values Assessment™. All three can be completed in 20 minutes or less.

    Kuder receives the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s “Best Kept Secret” award.


    Kuder Website Redesign

    The yearlong celebration of Kuder’s 75th anniversary begins with the re-launch of and continues in a series of special events and activities throughout the year.

    Kuder announces an ongoing collaboration with the International Centre for Career Development & Public Policy (ICCDPP) to improve, advance, and advocate career development on a global platform.

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