50 Years Leading the Way


Dr. Robert Ripley was a consultant to the US Department of Labor on the revision and development of the 3rd Edition of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) which was the predecessor to the O*Net.

During this period, Dr. Ripley traveled throughout the United States surveying the similarities and differences in the rapidly changing world of work. Based on his observations, Ripley concluded there was a need to develop an instrument which would integrate pre-existing materials with evolving insights into the areas of occupations and careers.

1970, 1973

After 12 years of being immersed in the role of researching, observing, teaching and consulting in the areas of psychological testing and occupational exploration, Ripley created the Career Choice Inventory (CCI). The CCI, which was based on the DOL database, was the first empirically-based, fully integrated, multi-dimensional career assessment in the United States.

In 1973, the name was changed from the Career Choice Inventory to the World of Work Inventory (WOWI®).


Based on feedback from counselors around the country, the need for an interpretive report became increasingly evident. Gregory P.M. Neidert, Ph.D., (current President of WOWI®), and Karen Hudson, who was Vice-President at the time, created an Interpretive report based on their extensive knowledge of the WOWI® and their collective background in training career counselors.

This was another first for WOWI® and the world at large as a report such as this had not been previously available to career and vocational counselors.


In a case of addition by subtraction, the 330 item Short Form of the WOWI® was released. Over a decade of research showed the Short Form version of the WOWI® superior to the original Long Form 516 question format, which was dropped completely in 2000.

The current WOWI Online (and print) version is the 330 item Short Form which has been updated during this time based on feedback from WOWI® clients and the needs of an ever changing workforce.

1991 - 2017

WOWI® has a long history of responding to and embracing technological advancements.

In 1991 the Orion Modem System Software code was introduced.

In 2000 WOWI® moved to the Internet as career and vocational counselors began using the emerging (and now hyper-prevalent) communication medium to better serve their clients.

In 2017, WOWI® was formatted for mobile applications to match the needs of users. As technology continues to evolve, WOWI will continue to embrace as leaders in the field.