Career Education Models
Trends and Issues Alert 44
by Bettina Lankard Brown
This project has been funded at least in part with Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education under Contract No. ED-99-CO-0013. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. ERIC/ACVE publications may be freely reproduced.
As the world of work has evolved, so has the way individuals are functioning in the workplace, requiring new forms of workforce preparation. Career educationwhich focuses on strategies for enhancing students' career awareness, exploration, and planninghas evolved as well. Contemporary career issues (e.g., life-work balance, involuntary career transitions, mentoring) have led to a different focus in guidance and counseling practices. This Alert reviews models of career education and the way those models address the trends and issues involved in careers for the workplace of the future.
The traditional model of career education stresses a series of developmental stages, basic and academic learning, employability skill development, school and workplace linkages, as well as the need for lifelong learning and continuous skill development (Wickwire 2001). This basic model of career education was designed for a workplace characterized by a series of upward moves within a single organization that resulted in increasing income, status, power, and security (Kelly et al. 2002). More current models of career education are designed to prepare individuals for a very different workplaceone that is characterized by interorganizational mobility, flexible work arrangements, teamwork, technology, and international relationships. The newer models of career education include the "new careering," which advocates a theory of life as career and focuses on logical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of living (Miller-Tiedman 1999); the "integrated theory and practice" model, which stresses the integration of school-based, employer-based, and residential-based models that are developed around lifelong learning needs (Moore 2002); and the "Intelligent Career" model, which stresses the importance of "knowing-how," "knowing-why," and "knowing who" when addressing ways to enhance career preparation (Parker 2002; Wnuk and Amundson 2003).
These new models use the term "boundaryless" to distinguish the traditional career model from the new. The concept of boundaryless careers maintains that career development can take place through lateral and horizontal as well as vertical movement (Kelly et al. 2002). Within the realm of the basic career education model and the newer models of career education are strategies that are uniquely suited to the structural and cultural factors of a given population.
Examines the importance of emotions when conducting a job search and engaging in employment. Highlights how inappropriate emotional reactions can adversely affect an individual's effectiveness and offers remedies for addressing emotional barriers that can impede employment.
The Personal Learning Planning (PLP) model focuses on the needs and ongoing development of the individual, links career guidance to the learning process, and links learning to work. Individuals need to be encouraged to engage in a regular process of reviewing, recording, and planning in relation to their learning and work throughout their lives with the progress file as the reference point. Foundations for the process should be laid in schools and individuals encouraged to manage the process themselves with access to ongoing support.
Discusses the importance of using computer technology for career development purposes and to help clients in their career-related decision making. Suggests that the conceptual frameworks of school-based career development models be upgraded to reflect new uses and application of technology.
Describes the shared characteristics of effective models of career education and describes the changes in values that have accompanied demographic shifts in society. Contends that the greatest inadequacy of career development theory is that it fails to take into account the unique needs of ethnic minorities, special needs students, and women.
Proposes that many theories of the high-tech career focus on the benefits of "boundarylessness" or the lack of dependence upon specific organizations. Promotes the idea of multiple careers and highlights the potential for a simultaneous pursuit of distinct and disparate career opportunities.
The traditional understanding of career is being challenged as a result of corporate downsizing, delayering, and other factors that contribute to instability, uncertainty, and insecurity for traditional career structures. Traditional progression up the corporate ladder has been replaced with lateral cross-functional moves, job switches, downward moves, and temporary moves of alternative career movement. The "boundaryless" career has evolved to reflect practices such as planned job rotation, dual career ladders, and multiple career paths as well as movement across functions and from technical to specialist roles or positions.
Describes a workshop that involves a holistic model for career and lifework planning and a training resource for increasing competency using the Internet for career related job search activity. "Life Work Transitions.com: Putting Your Spirit Online" and its companion website offer an integrated approach that balances spiritual awareness and technology, while addressing the practical issues of retention and loyalty. "Finding Your True North" is the core four-part model for making positive centered life-enhancing career choices. The four parts consist of analyzing and discovering what skills, knowledge, and abilities we possess; identifying where our best work can be done (working conditions); selecting criteria for describing who are our best colleagues, customers, etc.; and defining purpose and rewards that describe why we do what we do.
Describes the "new careering," which advocates a theory of life, not job, as career and focuses on logical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of living. Compares the "new careering" to the more conventional career counseling theories and provides a rationale for placing conventional wisdom within the realm of personal reality.
Promotes a contemporary career education model that involves the integration of school-based, home-based, employer-based, and residential-based models. Suggests that educators develop local programs around lifelong education needs using community resources, and promotes a visioning process that is contemporary in scope and nature and that is innovative and focused on meeting customer needs.
The "Intelligent Career" is a model that provides a framework to integrate career data into a coherent picture. The Intelligent Career Card Sort®, specifically developed to elicit and work with subjective career data, is a way for counselors to accommodate personal and dynamic needs of their clients beyond a job focus. It assesses the tensions between the subjective and the objective aspects of career.
Uses General Systems Theory to unify approaches to career development. Presents a review of existing theoretical literature on career development; explores the traditional philosophical underpinnings of career theory and practices, including philosophical directions driving change; and addresses the integration of theory and practice through the concept of lifelong learning systems.
Compares advantages of three models linking career assessment to career information: print, computer-assisted career guidance, and the Internet. Describes Career Exploration Links, a website that organizes career information and guides a diverse college student population in its use.
Unstable labor markets have led individuals to develop self-limiting beliefs and behaviors and resist taking responsibility for their career futures. Stevens' model of career development emphasizes the integration of clients' work-related and personal strengths and postulates six stages of career development that must occur over time: self-assessment, interpreting data, opportunity awareness, decision learning, transition training, and transition accomplished.
U.S. employment has moved from the traditional career, which was characterized by professional advancement within one or two firms, to employment in organizations that have downsized and become more flexible in response to environmental factors like rapid technological advancements and increased global competition. As a result of these changes, boundaryless careers, which extend beyond the limits of a single employment setting, have become the norm rather than the exception. This has resulted in changes from organizational loyalty to professional loyalty, from a focus on extrinsic to intrinsic rewards, and from firm reliance to self-reliance.
Describes the history and mission of career education efforts that have evolved since the 1970 and discusses the characteristics of career education's basic model, which is designed to advance and enhance individuals' productivity and satisfaction throughout the lifespan by forging connections among career, education, and work.
Discusses a model for helping women to develop key attitudes and behaviors that are necessary to succeed in the new economy. Emphasizes the need for women to develop personal resilience, find opportunities to demonstrate their skills, nurture their personal growth and development, and move toward healthy, long-term career and life success.
Describes the use of the Intelligent Career Card Sortr, a career exploration exercise that is based on the Intelligent Career framework and details the three ways of knowing identified in the Intelligent Career: knowing-why, knowing-how, and knowing-whom. Discusses this model in the context of the subjective career and the changing economy.