Assignment: Career Learning Theory

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Assignment: Career Learning Theory

Assignment: Career Learning Theory


Assignment: Career Choice Theories Based in Learning Theory


Theory of Happenstance

Unplanned and unexpected events that have influenced the course of your life

Krumboltz’s approach to career counseling has considerable merit, particularly for disenfranchised and marginalized groups in our society.

Krumboltz identified 4 factors that influence individual development and ultimately the career decision-making process and choice:

Genetic endowment and special abilities

Environmental conditions and events

Learning experiences

Task approach skills



1. To help clients learn to take actions to achieve more satisfying and career and personal lives – not to make one decision.

2. Career assessments are used to stimulate learning, not to match traits with occupational characteristics.

3. Clients learn to engage in exploratory actions to develop beneficial unplanned events.

4. Counseling goals are measured by the client’s accomplishments outside the counseling session.



Skills needed to deal with opportunities that arise by chance:

Curiosity – Explore opportunities resulting from chance events

Persistence – Learn when there are setbacks

Flexibility – Change attitude to deal with chance events

Optimism – Pursue new events; find that actions can pay off

Risk taking – Responding to new events



Four counseling steps:

1. Normalize planned happenstance in client’s background.

2. Help transform curiosity into learning and exploration opportunities.

3. Teach clients to produce desirable chance events.

4. Teach clients to overcome blocks to action.

Social Cognitive Perspective on Careers

Based in the sociocognitive theory of Albert Bandura

Central propositions of Social Cognitive Theory:

Interactions between people and their environments is highly dynamic

Career-related interests and behavior are influenced by several aspects of the person: gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disabilities, behavior, self-efficacy beliefs, outcome expectations, goals and genetically determined characteristics.

Self-efficacy beliefs and expectations of outcomes interact directly to influence interest development.

Gender, race, physical health, disabilities, and environmental variables influence self-efficacy development, as well as expectations of outcomes and ultimately goals and performance.

Actual career choice and implementation are influence by a number of direct and indirect variables.

Performance in educational activities and occupations is the result of the interactions among ability, self-efficacy beliefs, outcome expectations and the goals that have been established.

Social cognitive career theory (SCCT) was first published by Lent, Brown and Hackett in 1994.

The results of reviews and research studies suggest that SCCT-based career counseling is useful with a variety of client groups ranging from adolescents to the disabled.

Self-efficacy and interests are linked and that interests can be developed or strengthened using modeling, encouragement and most powerfully performance enactments.

Lent and colleagues (2002) recommend 2 career counseling applications of SCCT.

The first begins with gathering traditional test data regarding needs, values and aptitudes similar to that proposed by Dawis (1996)

The second application involves the use of a modified vocational card sorting of occupations representative of the occupational structure.

Career Information Processing (CIP)Model of Career Choice

(Peterson and colleagues)

First presented in 1991

Revised in 2002

Relied on branch of learning theory that focuses on information processing

Understanding CIP Theory

Development of self knowledge involves the interpretation of past events and a cognitive reconstruction of those events.

The decision making process (deciding) can be subsumed under the acronym CASVE—communication, analysis, synthesis, valuing and execution.

Of greatest concern to career counselors and counseling psychologists is the client who is not a good decision maker. The Career Thoughts Inventory (CTI) was developed to diagnose various aspects of decision-making problems.

CTI has items relating to each compartment included in a pyramid:

Apex: Thinking About My Decisions

Mid-Level: Knowing How I Make Decisions

Base of Pyramid: Knowing Myself and Knowing My Options

Peterson and colleagues outline a 7 step model for career counseling

Conduct initial interview

Conduct preliminary assessment

Mutually define problem and analyze causes

Formulate goals

Develop individual learning plan

Implement individual learning plan

Evaluate goal attainment

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