Helping others to make occupational choices requires a combination of skill and a deep understanding of the world of work as it is today and will be in the future. Unlike texts, which focus only on skill, Careers Guidance in Context is designed to develop understanding of the factors, which shape both the labour market, and careers guidance as an occupation in itself. Careers Guidance in Context re-evaluates the concept of `a career' in the light of economic restructuring, globalization and the growth of information technology. It draws together up-to-date theories about guidance work and debates the importance of integrating theory and practice. Examining the processes in which practitioners engage when work

Career Development Theory

Career development theory

The way in which our careers develop is a complex process involving many different and changing factors. In order to understand it more clearly, a body of theory is required and this has become increasingly available over the last 100 years. These theories have to be seen within the context of the time they were developed, for as Law (1996a) observed, they have ‘responded to the social concerns prevalent’ at a particular time. It is necessary to view career development theories as ‘growing out of their times’ but also influencing the way in which careers guidance has been practised.

Careers guidance formally began with Frank Parsons, who established the Vocation Bureau in Boston (USA) in 1908. The following year he put ...

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