Career counseling

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The guidance aims to teenagers and adults, according to their abilities , interests and her character image to advise or their personality characteristics and assist in choosing a career. Career counseling is used by pupils, students, school dropouts or college dropouts, professionals with further training requirements and university graduates. But the unemployed and those undergoing rehabilitation can also take advantage of career counseling.

Services and methods

Careers counseling is mainly offered as a merit asset . Public career advice services (e.g. the Federal Employment Agency in Germany and the cantonal career advice centers in Switzerland) are free of charge for users. Private commercial organizations can bill for their services. Adults pay z. Sometimes certain special services such as test clarifications themselves (e.g. Canton of Zurich). In Germany, Austria and especially in Switzerland, there are also private offers in addition to public services.

Career counseling offers those seeking advice the following:

  • independent individual advice on professional orientation and decision-making
  • Group advice on agreed topics
  • Advice and information on courses
  • Field-related counseling tests in various fields of study
  • Advice and information on school and company training professions
  • Career orientation events at schools or by appointment
  • Professional events in the BiZ
  • Information events in the universities
  • Office hours in schools
  • Consultation hours in the universities in cooperation with the ZSB (Central Student Advisory Service )
  • Magazines and books on career choices
  • Advice on secondary schools that can lead to professional goals
  • Proposals for placement of apprenticeships after a suitability assessment
  • Psychological aptitude test
  • guided self-exploration programs
  • Exploration of the professional and working world (company tours / internships)

Many advisory agencies use interest orientation tests that are largely based on the RIASEC model by John L. Holland .

Online career guidance

Online career guidance is not yet very widespread, but its importance is increasing in countries with decentralized settlement structures. Web-based self-tests and online tests, which are offered in the job information centers (BiZ) of the Federal Employment Agency , are also becoming increasingly important . In Switzerland, the SDBB ​​provides an online platform for advice. In Austria, online counseling is offered to those seeking advice free of charge as part of the network Bildungsberatung Österreich Online . There are either pre-set appointments for Skype consultations or the possibility of asking questions to consultants by email.

quality control

In recent years there have been increasing efforts to ensure the quality of advice ([quality development], [quality assurance]). So far, criticism of quality assurance in consulting has been expressed because it is questionable to what extent it makes sense to "standardize" a communicative process that is mainly about flexibility.

In addition to conventional quality management ( ISO ), other quality assurance models have also been developed that are used in particular in advisory institutions. In addition, there were also a number of EU-funded projects that developed different approaches to quality development in consulting. In Austria, on the initiative of the Ministry of Education for advisory organizations, a special procedure for external quality assurance for provider-neutral educational advisory services in Austria has been created. The procedure provides for the following quality criteria:

  • Neutrality of the consulting service (s) as well as target group orientation
  • Justification of the advisory service, competence of the staff and timeliness of the information
  • Clarity and efficiency of the design and organization of the service (s)
  • Internal quality assurance and monitoring of effectiveness

Career advice in different countries

A global umbrella organization of career counselors is the IAEVG (International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance) or AIOSP ( Association internationale d'orientation scolaire et professional ) in German: IVBBB - International Association for Educational and Career Advice.


Most of the advice on professional careers in Germany is provided by the Federal Employment Agency . They are legally obliged to do so (Section 29 SGB III), but only before the young people choose a career or course of study or during retraining measures. Since the Federal Agency's monopoly on advice was abolished in 1998, however, there has also been commercial career advice and application training for providers of independent youth care ( youth welfare ). The professionalism of the advice is not guaranteed by statutory minimum standards. In Germany, the German Association for Education and Career Advice (DVB) has defined quality standards. Career counselors who meet certain requirements and adhere to the quality standards can be entered in the BBR vocational advice register.

The Federal Employment Agency advises young people without a university entrance qualification from the U25 team (people under 25 years of age). Academic advice is provided by advisors for academic professions. Among other things, the aim here is to reconcile knowledge, interests, skills and (life) goals with the degree programs in question. Possible strategies for entering the labor market are developed with graduates.

The first nationwide career advice service for secondary school students was launched in Cologne in September 2011. The office, which is currently working on a voluntary basis, is the point of contact for secondary school leavers, parents and teachers in all matters relating to career choices and possible career opportunities. The initiator of career counseling, Peter Kolakowski, was honored by the Caritas Foundation for his commitment to secondary school leavers in November 2011.

After the structural reorganization of the Federal Agency, there is no longer a separate “career guidance” department. It is now integrated into the general employment agency and divided into different organizational units. The U25 team is responsible for career counseling and the placement of young people in training. However , the job center (Arbeitsstelle für Arbeitslosengeld II) is now responsible for arranging training for young people in need of help who are fit for work and who belong to SGB ​​II .

The career information center (BiZ) is affiliated with the federal agency's career advice service. It can also be used for self-search without prior advice. Those seeking advice have the opportunity to find out about the individual professions through the media . Video portraits of the job description are usually available for all recognized professions . Other media are also available.

Career counseling in Germany is considered to be institutionally fragmented. In addition to the employment agency, chambers of crafts, municipal bodies and educational institutions, employers (at job fairs) and private consultants (for a fee) also provide advice.


In Switzerland, career guidance is the responsibility of the individual cantons. The Swiss Service Center for Vocational Education and Training - Vocational, Study and Career Advice (SDBB) takes on a coordinating function. There are some associations for career counselors and career counseling. Academic career guidance is organized separately. The SDBB's Diagnostics Group is responsible for diagnostic quality assurance in this area. New or newly adapted diagnostic methods from home and abroad are rated with "labels", which give the user information about possible areas of application and qualitative possibilities and limits.


In Austria, educational and career counseling is offered by different actors. Schools offer educational counseling - compulsory schools offer vocational orientation courses. At the universities, the psychological student counseling u. a. Support in choosing a course of study. But online platforms also provide support in choosing a course of study and provide information on support offers. For job seekers, the AMS (Public Employment Service) job information centers offer job and further training advice. Within the framework of the Bildungsberatung Österreich network, there are supporting institutions in every federal state which - financed by the Ministry of Education and the ESF - offer free educational and career advice.

Career counseling in group settings is also widespread in Austria. For this purpose, AMS Austria had a method database with methods for advice in group settings created. In Austria there are two professional associations for educational and career counselors: Association for career and educational counseling (VBB) and the Association of Austrian educational and career counselors (VÖBB).


In France, professional advisers employed in the civil service are organized in the Association des conseillers d'orientation - psychologues de France .

United States

In the USA, career counselors are organized in the National Board for Certified Counselors and / or in the National Career Development Association . The Global Career Development Facilitator is an internationally awarded certificate .


Careers Counseling in Australia, circa 1946

Long before career counseling was institutionalized, visionary scholars expressed ideas for advisory support for a planned and optimizable career choice . The German geographer and polymath Johann Gottfried Gregorii alias MELISSANTES not only described examples of professional advice in the Baroque era, but also recommended choosing the profession as early as 1715 after careful self-exploration. The consideration of inclination, aptitude and performance should be compared with the personal temperament according to the temperament theory of Galen . The self-reflexive interpretation of Know yourself based on the oracle of Delphi served Gregorii as a philosophical basis for his idea. He assigned the tasks of career and life counseling mainly to the educators.

In Germany, since 1902, the information center for women's professions , headed by Josephine Levy-Rathenau, was the first independent career guidance institution on German soil.

One of the founders of modern career counseling in the USA is above all Frank Parsons , who - based on a pragmatic theory of education - was committed to improving the vocational training of young people in Boston and who systematically described the procedures of career counseling for the first time in 1908. His main work Choosing a Vocation was not published until after his death in 1909. Parsons has been one of the cornerstones of career guidance

  1. a clear understanding of one's own inclinations, skills, resources and limitations
  2. knowledge of the requirements and conditions of professional success, the opportunities, risks and rewards in various fields of activity
  3. a weighing of these two groups of factors and, if necessary, the final matching , d. H. assignment to a profession.

Parsons also assumed that the self-disclosure of the counselors in counseling sessions is the most important and most valid source of information for the counselor. On the contrary, online offers on the subject of career counseling concentrate on a professional test .

Other important contributions to the theory and methodology of career guidance have also been developed in the USA (e.g. by John L. Holland , Edgar Schein, Donald E. Super, Vernon G. Zunker). The functionalist view of work tasks and competencies has been supplemented over time by constructivist approaches to career planning, e. B. by the process model by David V. Tiedeman . The USA has its own master’s degree for career counselors .

In the light of increasing distortions on the international labor markets, the Copenhagen Declaration of November 2002 also proclaimed general goals for career guidance, which, however, have hardly been realized worldwide. In a 2004 study, Watts and Sultana analyzed career counseling strategies in an international comparison. In this comparison, career counseling in Germany appears to be well developed in quantitative terms, but not very transparent in institutional terms.

For some time now there have also been models of occupational and career advice for departing employees, see outplacement .


Approaches to performance measurement and, above all, to long-term review of the effectiveness of career counseling are only weakly developed. B. with the help of the " social return on investment " approach. For methodological reasons alone, it is difficult to isolate the steering effect of a one-off consultation from that of other factors influencing the choice of career. In almost all previous evaluation attempts, only the subjective and short-term satisfaction with the counseling situation is measured. In a - albeit not representative - test in 2010, satisfaction with advice from the employment agency was lowest; The testers were most satisfied with municipal bodies.

In a publication of the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network , studies on the evidence of the positive effect u. a. also summarized by the career counseling service. However, in this literature review it remains unclear in many cases whether the advisory services are public or private. The methodology of the studies is not presented; what can be assessed as a positive effect is also not questioned. So z. For example, lowering a dropout rate can be rated positively, but also negatively if it prevents finding a better training or job alternative. Most studies do not establish a concrete connection between the type of counseling intervention and its success. Often it is a question of recording short-term effects; there is a lack of follow-up studies examining long-term effects. After all, it is hardly possible to separate the effect of the intervention from other variables (e.g. job supply). Despite this criticism, many studies show positive results in terms of attitudes and motivation.

In 2016 a publication was published by AMS Austria, which gives an overview of methods and indicators for measuring the effectiveness of educational and career guidance.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Career guidance  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ W. Sarges, G. Birkhan & G.-H. Klevenow (1989). Analysis of individual professional counseling - need, conveyance and function of information. Contributions to labor market and occupational research, ContributionAB 134 . Nuremberg: Institute for labor market and occupational research of the Federal Labor Office.
  2. Christian Bergmann (1992): School-occupational interests as determinants of study or career choice and coping with: A review of the Holland model. In: A. Krapp & M. Prenzel (Eds.), Interest, Learning, Achievement. More recent approaches to educational-psychological interest research, Münster: Aschendorff, pp. 195–220
  3. Homepage - (SDBB) In: , accessed on August 15, 2017.
  4. Further education, training, educational grants: Online educational advice Austria In: , accessed on August 15, 2017.
  5. Learner and customer-oriented quality in education, advice and social services,
  6. Quality Manual for Educational and Educational Counseling
  7. ^ Fellinger, Alfred / Steiner, Karin: GuideMe! Quality Toolbox for trainers and consultants -
  9. DVB career counseling register ( Memento from May 6, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  10. Shared wealth - St. Severin educational sponsors give away their professional experience , in: Parish letter St. Severin 3/2011.
  11. ^ Educational and career advice: better integration with public policy. Published by OECD Publishing 2004. E-Book: ISBN 978-92-64-01583-8 . See also Plant, Peter; Watts, Tony: OECD Report on Careers Advice - Germany. Country report. In: Information for the advisory and placement services of the Federal Employment Service, (2002) 38, pp. 2677–2698. Full text at
  12. SDBB Switzerland
  13. Overview of associations and associations for career counseling in Switzerland ( Memento from February 23, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  14. Association of experts for advice and information in the middle and university sector
  15. Homepage of the specialist group Diagnostics of the SDBB ( Memento from October 25, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  16. Existing test labels of the FG Diagnostik des SDBB ( Memento from August 12, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  17. Psychological student counseling : Die Psychologische Studierendenberatung In: , accessed on August 15, 2017.
  18. Study platform - Find your degree! In: , accessed on August 15, 2017.
  19. 18plus: Berufs- und Studienchecker In: , accessed on August 15, 2017.
  21. adult In: adult , accessed on August 15, 2017.
  22. ^ AMS research network method database In: , accessed on August 15, 2017.
  25. ^ Carsten Berndt, MELISSANTES: a Thuringian polyhistor and his job descriptions in the 18th century; Life and work of Johann Gottfried Gregorii (1685–1770) as a contribution to the history of geography, cartography, genealogy, psychology, pedagogy and professional studies in Germany; [a Thuringian geographer and universal scholar (1685–1770)], 3rd supplemented and expanded edition, Bad Langensalza 2015, ISBN 978-3-86777-166-5 , pp. 140–148
  26. MELISSANTES, Der curieuse Affectenspiegel ..., Frankfurt and Leipzig 1715
  27. ^ Parsons, Frank: Choosing a Vocation. Boston: Houghton Mifflin 1909
  28. ^ John L. Holland (1997): Making Vocational Choices. A Theory of Vocational Personalities and Work Environments. Psychological Assessment Resources Inc. ISBN 0-911907-27-0 .
  29. Wendy A. Patton & Jan Lokan (2001): Perspectives on Donald Super's Construct of Career Maturity. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance 1 (1/2), pp. 31–48.
  30. Watts, A., & Sultana, R. (2004), Career guidance policies in 37 countries: Contrasts and common themes , International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 4, pp. 105-122
  31. See e.g. B. Careers advice - Federal Employment Agency
  32. Careers Advice - Doubtful advice from the employment agency. In: May 21, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2017 .
  33. ^ Tristram Hooley: The Evidence-Based Lifelong Counseling . Translation on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Berlin 2015.
  34. Malcolm Maguire, John Killeen: Outcomes from career information and guidance services. European Commission and OECD, 2003, online , accessed December 18, 2015
  35. Practical handbook "Measuring the Effect of Educational and Career Counseling Professionally - Methods and Indicators for Measurement" In: , accessed on August 15, 2017. (PDF; 1.24 MB)