Howard Gardner is an American psychologist, he is currently the senior director of Harvard Project Zero and, since 1995, he has been the co-director of The Good Project. He has written hundreds of research articles and thirty books that have been translated into more than thirty languages.

His theory of multiple intelligences, outlined in his book “Frames of mind: the theory of multiple intelligences” (1983), made him one of the most important developmental psychologists of our century.

According to the abovementioned theory, there are potentially 8 cognitive intelligences that should be properly developed in order to keep up with the current times and career opportunities.

1.      Visual-Spatial Intelligence

“People who are strong in visual-spatial intelligence are good at visualizing things. These individuals are often good with directions as well as maps, charts, videos and pictures.”

If you’re high skilled in visual-spatial intelligence, good career choices for you could be: architect, engineer, artist.

2.      Linguistic-Verbal Intelligence

“People who are strong in linguistic-verbal intelligence are able to use words well, both when writing and speaking. These individuals are typically very good at writing stories, memorizing information and reading.”

If you’re high skilled in linguistic-verbal intelligence, good career choices for you could be: marketing-person, lawyer, journalist, teacher.

3.      Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

“People who are strong in logical-mathematical intelligence are good at reasoning, recognizing patterns, and logically analysing problems. These individuals tend to think conceptually about numbers, relationships and patterns.”

If you’re high skilled in logical-mathematical intelligence, good career choices for you could be: IT development and computer programmer, engineer, financial-person, data analyst, scientist, mathematician.

4.      Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

“Those who have high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are said to be good at body movement, performing actions, and physical control. People who are strong in this area tend to have excellent hand-eye coordination and dexterity.”

If you’re high skilled in bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, good career choices for you could be: dancer, builder, sculptor, actor, trainer.

5.      Musical Intelligence

“People who have strong musical intelligence are good at thinking in patterns, rhythms, and sounds. They have a strong appreciation for music and are often good at musical composition and performance.”

If you’re high skilled in musical intelligence, good career choices for you could be: musician, composer, singer, music teacher.

6.      Interpersonal Intelligence

“Those who have strong interpersonal intelligence are good at understanding and interacting with other people. These individuals are skilled at assessing the emotions, motivations, desires, and intentions of those around them.”

If you’re high skilled in interpersonal intelligence, good career choices for you are: psychologist, consultant, coach, sales-person, politician.

7.      Intrapersonal Intelligence

“Individuals who are strong in intrapersonal intelligence are good at being aware of their own emotional states, feelings, and motivations. They tend to enjoy self-reflection and analysis, including daydreaming, exploring relationships with others, and assessing their personal strengths.”

If you’re high skilled in intrapersonal intelligence, good career choices for you could be: business analysist, controller, data analyst, philosopher, writer, theorist, scientist.

8.      Naturalistic Intelligence

“Naturalistic is the most recent addition to Gardner’s theory and has been met with more resistance than his original seven intelligences. According to Gardner, individuals who are high in this type of intelligence are more in tune with nature and are often interested in nurturing, exploring the environment, and learning about other species. These individuals are said to be highly aware of even subtle changes to their environments.”

If you’re high skilled in naturalistic intelligence, good career choices for could be: biologist, conservationist, gardener, farmer.

Gardner has suggested the possible addition of a ninth intelligence known as “existentialist and moral intelligence.”, which is the ability to use intuition, thought and meta-cognition to ask (and answer to) deep questions about human existence. Even if it is relevant, Gardner has not developed this intelligence type very extensively and it usually receives just a short mention in other articles on Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences.

Gardner maintains that his theory should “empower people”, without restricting them to one modality of learning. According to Gardner, an intelligence is “a bio-psychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture.”

“As history unfolds, as cultures evolve, of course the intelligences which they value change” – H.G.

Empower your intelligences then and develop your career opportunities accordingly!


Enza Artino,
International Service Manager c/o Wyser; Coaching Competence Center Manager c/o Gi Group