People who like to observe, learn, investigate, analyze, evaluate, or solve problems. They would describe themselves as inquisitive, analytical, scientific, observant/precise, scholarly, cautious, intellectually self-confident, independent, logical, complex, and curious. It's important to remember that "Investigative" in this sense does not refer to an ability or quality, but is a category of interests, skills, and values.  The information on this page is not a comprehensive overview of Investigative interests, but gives a general idea about this occupational theme.

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"Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally." per O*Net Online


  • Researching/investigating
  • Analyzing information/data
  • Generating/creating ideas
  • Breaking data down into parts
  • Forming data parts into wholes
  • Finding patterns in data
  • Building theoretical models
  • Verbal skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Consulting/advising in areas of expertise


  • knowledge
  • innovative ideas
  • originality
  • independence
  • intelligence
  • academic achievement 

Community & Activities

People with investigative interests could be interested in any of the career communities, so be sure to check out all of them. These communities in particular could be a good place to start.

Consult the list of CIOs on the Student Activities UVA.

  • Biology Society
  • Girls Excited About Math and Science (GEMS)
  • Economics Club
  • Math Modeling Group at UVA
  • Alpha Epsilon Delta Premedical Society
  • Pre-Dental Society
  • Pre-Pharmacy Society

Relevant Majors & Courses

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Anthropology
  • Astronomy
  • Biological and Physical Sciences
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biophysics
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • Environmental Science
  • Genetics
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Systems Engineering

Potential Occupations

Investigative interests can be fulfilled in a lot of different career paths. ​O*Net Online is one place you can look for careers related to social interests - you can find more ideas at O*Net Investigative occupations. Also, make sure to make an appointment with a career counselor to discuss how your interests are relevant to different careers. Here are some examples to get you started. 

  • Actuary
  • Agronomist
  • Anesthesiologist
  • Anthropologist
  • Biochemical Engineer
  • Biologist
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Chemist
  • Compuster Systems Analyst
  • Dentist
  • Ecologist
  • Economist
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Energy Engineer
  • Geologist
  • Horticulturist
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Logistcs Engineer
  • Management Analyst
  • Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
  • Mathematician
  • Meteorologist
  • Network and Computer System Administrator
  • Robotics Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • Technical Writer
  • Transportation Planner
  • Water Resource Specialist