Career Support: Definition, Types of Career Support

Career SupportThere is a range of different educational, counseling and human resource management interventions that can support individuals to develop and manage their careers.

Career Support Definition

Career support is commonly offered while people are in education when they are transitioning to the labor market when they are changing careers, during periods of unemployment, and during the transition to retirement.

Support may be offered by career professionals, other professionals or by non-professionals such as family and friends.

The activities may take place on an individual or group basis and may be face-to-face or at a distance (including helplines and web-based services).

They include a career information provision (in print, ICT-based and other forms), assessment and self- assessment tools, counseling interviews, career education programs (to help individuals develop their self-awareness, opportunity awareness, and career management skills), taster programs (to sample options before choosing them), work search programs, and transition services.

Types of Career Support

Key types of career support include:

  • Career information describes information that supports career and learning choices. An important sub-set of career information is labor market information (LMI), such as salaries of various professions, the employment rate in various professions, available training programs, and current job openings (Kaye, 1997).
  • Career assessments are tests that come in a variety of forms and rely on both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Career assessments can help individuals identify and better articulate their unique interests, personality, values, and skills to determine how well they may match with a certain career.
  • Career counseling assesses people’s interests, personality, values, and skills, and helps them to explore career options and research graduate and professional schools. Career counseling provides one-on-one or groups professional assistance in exploration and decision-making tasks related to choosing a major occupation, transitioning into the world of work or further professional training.

Career education describes a process by which individuals come to learn about themselves, their careers and the world of work.

There is a strong tradition of career education in schools, however, career education can also occur in a wider range of other contexts including further and higher education and the workplace.

Some research shows adding one year of schooling beyond high school creates an increase of wages 17.8% per worker.

However, additional years of schooling, beyond 9 or 10 years, have little effect on worker’s wages.

In Summary, better educated, bigger benefits. In 2010, 90% of the U.S. workforce had a high school diploma, 64% had some college, and 34% had at least a bachelor’s degree.