Vocational psychology was established in 1909. This field is mainly composed of guidance professionals and specialists in career development. The focus of this field is on understanding work and ensuring that the career training that is being provided is the proper training for the vocations and that graduates are prepared upon graduation when entering the job market. When vocational psychologists analyzed their role, there were four major themes identified: revisions should be identified that will address changes that will enable the work to be more inclusive; culture needs to be addressed; progress from social justice rhetoric forward to meaningful practice needs to be made; and research needs to advance within the field of vocational psychology.
The revisions to the current career and vocational research suggestions and strategies need to incorporate the postmodern use of the information age. A more self-directed inquiry can be used by students as they are more self-directed and familiar with technology. Computer-based programs can be established to help students with their career quests. The personal meeting with a vocational psychologist should still be an important element of the process and the initial piece of the process. During this meeting the role of the student and the influence of his or her family and community should continue to be discussed. Then, a computer program can be used as the next step to match the student’s interests with career possibilities.
Culture also needs to be addressed as a part of the career guidance process. This concept of culture includes the beliefs and attitudes that the student possesses. In vocational psychology this also includes the grouping of gender differences and socioeconomic status. Culture also involves speaking of and learning about cultural sensitivity. Personal experiences are included in this area as well as identification to specific groups with which one may identify oneself.
Another important aspect of importance is that progress from social justice rhetoric forward to meaningful practice needs to be made. Additionally, practitioners acknowledged that they are in need of social justice training. This needs to include time, training, compensation, and validation. Additionally, there needs to be a realization of the importance of the importance of extra-curricular activities during the years of formal study. Lastly, working with private, non-profit, and public policy institutes in developing programs so that students could be learning what they will want to be hiring upon course completion will help design the best fit.
Advancing the field of vocational psychology is important because people who have the most information about career choices tend to have better grades when studying their careers. Education is expensive. Changing courses adds to this expense. Knowing what one wants to study and sticking to it is the most economical and satisfying way to complete one’s study. By being able to have a target occupation and a good sense of a career in mind, a student is going to be more focused and do better when pursuing one’s education (Metz & Guichard, 2009).
It is important to ensure that one’s cultural perspective is comfortable and compatible with a chosen career or occupation. Comfort and compatibility are essential for practice in a career that may span 50 or more years. If there are any reservations, they should be addressed forthright and upfront. Any hesitation should be met without remorse, without prejudice, and without embarrassment (Graham, 2007).
Drawing elements of computer science, paleoarcheology, economics, anthropology, biology, modern evolutionary theory, and biology is evolutionary psychology. There is a unique foundation of core premises to this sub-discipline of psychology. External and internal inputs that deal with the physiological, ecological, cultural, and social devices of the brain are a part of the manifest behaviors. It is not possible to genetically determine human behavior. This is because there is environmental input at each step as well as genetic input. Additionally, manifest behaviors and psychological mechanisms must be separated from each other. Also, social and cultural inputs are integral parts of human behavior. Lastly, evolutionary psychology accepts that human behavior is flexible and adaptable.
Part of evolutionary psychology is predicting gender differences and gender similarities. It is likely that there are more similarities than there are differences. Both genders try to control events. Women, obviously, deal with pregnancy and breastfeeding. Men have to deal with paternity and intersexual competition.
A subtopic of evolutionary psychology is feminism. One aspect was women seeking equality in such things as politics in the 1970s. In the 1970s and 1980s, women tried to achieve gender equality. Another aspect of evolutionary psychology is an ability to reduce social problems. A couple of these would be workplace sexual harassment and home verbal abuse. Enlightenment of how the different genders interact, primarily in their negative interactions, is where this sub-discipline can help society progress (David & David, 2011).
David, M. B., & David, P. S. (2011). Evolutionary psychology and feminism. Sex Roles, 64(9-
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Graham, B. S. (2007). Cultural psychology as a transformative agent for vocational psychology.
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Metz, A. J., & Guichard, J. (2009). Vocational psychology and new challenges. The Career
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