Design and Implementation of a Computerized Career Guidance Information System

Design and Implementation of a Computerized Career Guidance Information System

                                                                           Chapter Two

Review of Relevant Literature

2.1     Vocational Development and Career Counselling

Career development  theories  propose  vocational   models  that  include changes  throughout  the  lifespan.  Super’s model  proposes  a  lifelong  five-stage career development process. The stages are growth, exploration, establishment, maintenance, and disengagement. Throughout life, people have many roles that may differ in terms of importance and meaning. Gottfredson  proposed a cognitive career decision-making process that develops through the lifespan. The initial stage of career development is hypothesized to be the development of self-image in childhood, as the range of possible roles narrows using criteria such as sex-type, social class, and prestige. During and after adolescence, people take abstract concepts into consideration, such as interests.

Career counselling may include provision of occupational information, modelling skills, written exercises, and exploration of career goals and plans, Rahardja (2008). Career counselling can also involve the use of personality or career interest assessments, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which is based on Carl Jung’s theory of psychological type, or the Strong Interest Inventory, which makes use of Holland’s theory. Assessments of skills, abilities, and values are also commonly assessed in career counselling.

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2.2     Training and supervision

Counselling  psychology  includes  the  study  and  practice  of  counsellor training and supervision. As researchers, counselling psychologists may investigate what makes training and supervision effective. As practitioners, counselling psychologists may supervise and train a variety of clinicians. Counsellor training tends to occur in formal classes and training programs. Part of counsellor training may involve counselling clients under the supervision of a licensed clinician. Supervision can also occur between licensed clinicians, as a way to improve clinicians’  quality  of  work  and  competence  with  various  types  of  counselling clients.

As the field of counselling psychology formed in the mid-20th century, initial   training   models   included   Human   Relations   Training   by   Carkuff, Interpersonal Process Recall by Kagan, and Micro counselling Skills by Ivey. Modern training models include Egan’s Skilled Helper model, and Hill’s three stage (exploration, insight, and action) model. A recent analysis of studies on counsellor training found that modelling, instruction, and feedback are common to most training models, and seem to have medium to large effects on trainees, Hill (2006).

Problems can arise in supervision and training. First, supervisors are liable for malpractice of their supervisee. Also, questions have arisen as far as a supervisor’s need for formal training to be a competent supervisor, Westefeld (2009). Recent research suggests that conflicting, multiple relationships can occur between supervisors and supervisees, such as that of evaluator, instructor, and clinical supervisor, Westefeld (2009). The occurrence of racial micro-aggressions against Black supervisees suggests potential problems with racial bias in supervision, Constantine (2007). In general, conflicts between a counsellor and his or  her  supervisor  can  arise  when  supervisors  demonstrate  disrespect,  lack  of support, and blaming (Ladany & Inman, 2008).

2.3     Counseling psychology

Counselling psychology is a psychological specialty that encompasses research and applied work in several broad domains: counselling process and outcome; supervision and training; career development and counselling; and prevention and health. Some unifying themes among counselling psychologists include a focus on assets and strengths, person–environment interactions, educational and career development, brief interactions, and a focus on intact personalities, Gelso (2001).

In  the  U.S.,  counselling  psychology  programs  are  accredited  by  the American  Psychological  Association  (APA),  while  counselling  programs  are accredited through the Counsel for Accreditation of Counselling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). In all 50 states, counsellors can be licensed at the master‟s degree level, once meeting the state and national criteria. To become licensed as a counselling psychologist, one must meet the criteria for licensure as a psychologist (4-7 year doctoral degree post-bachelors, 1 year full-time internship, including 3,000 hours of supervised experience and exams). Both doctoral level counselling psychologists and doctoral level counsellors can perform applied work, as well as research and teaching.

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Counselling psychology, like many modern psychology specialities, started as a result of World War II. During the war, the U.S. military had a strong need for vocational placement and training. In the 1940s and 1950s the Veterans Administration created a specialty called “counselling psychology,” and Division 17  (now known  as the Society for Counselling  Psychology) of the APA was formed, Heppner (2008). This fostered interest in counsellor training, and the creation of the first few counselling psychology PhD programs. The first counselling psychology PhD programs were at the University of Minnesota; Ohio State University, University of Maryland, College Park; University of Missouri; Teachers College, Columbia University; and University of Texas at Austin.

The relationship between a counsellor and client is the feelings and attitudes that a client and therapist have towards one another, and the manner in which those feelings and attitudes are expressed, Greenson (1967). The relationship may be thought of in three parts: transference/counter transference, working alliance, and the real- or personal-relationship, Greenson (1967).

2.4     Career Counseling

Counselling and career coaching are similar in nature to traditional counselling. However, the focus is generally on issues such as career exploration, career change, personal career development and other career related issues. Typically when people come for career counselling they know exactly what they want to get out of the process, but are unsure about how it may work. In the UK, career counselling would usually be referred to as careers advice or guidance.

Career counselling is the process of helping the candidates to select a course of study that may help them to get into job or make them employable. A career counsellor helps candidates to get into a career that is suited to their aptitude, personality,  interest  and  skills.  So  it  is  the  process  of  making  an  effective correlation between the internal psychology of a candidate with the external factors of employability and courses.

Career counsellors work with people from various walks of life, such as adolescents seeking to explore career options, or experienced professionals contemplating a career change. Career counsellors typically have a background in vocational psychology or industrial/organizational psychology. The approach of career counselling varies, but will generally include the completion of one or more assessments.

One   of   the   major   challenges   associated   with   career   counselling   is encouraging participants to engage with it. For example in the UK 70% of people under 14 say they have had no careers advice while 45% of people over 14 have had no or very poor/limited advice, Parcover (1998).

In a related issue some client groups tend to reject the interventions made by professional  career  counsellors  preferring  to  rely  on  the  advice  of  peers  or superiors within their own profession. Jackson et al. found that 44% of doctors in training felt that senior members of their own profession were best placed to give careers advice, Galassi (1992). Furthermore it is recognised that the giving of career advice is something that is widely spread through a range of formal and informal roles. In addition to career counsellors it is also common for teachers, managers, trainers and Human Resources (HR) specialists to give formal support in career choices. Similarly it is also common for people to seek informal support from friends and family around their career choices and to bypass career professionals altogether. Today people rely on career web portals to seek advice on resume writing and handling interviews; as also to research on various professions and companies. It has even become possible to take vocational assessments online .Frank Parson’s Choosing a Vocation (1909) was perhaps the first major work which is concerned with careers guidance.

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There are lots of career guidance and counselling centres all over the world. They give services of guidance and counselling on higher studies, possibilities, chances and nature of courses and institutes.

An objective form of career counselling is through an aptitude test, or a career test. Career testing is now usually done online and provides insightful and objective information about which jobs may be suitable for the test taker based on combination of their interests, values and skills. Career tests usually provide a list of recommended jobs that match the test takers attributes with those of people with similar personalities who enjoy/are successful at their jobs.

2.5     Factors affecting admission

Whether to admit an applicant to a course is entirely the decision of each individual university. They will base their decision on a variety of factors, but primarily the grades predicted or already received in school leaver examinations. As more and more applicants are attaining higher and higher grades in the A level examinations, most universities also use secondary admissions criteria. These may include results at GCSE or Standard grade examinations (or equivalent), the references  provided  on  the  application  and  the  information  provided  on  the personal  statement.  The  personal  statement  can  often  be  the  deciding  factor between two similar candidates so a small industry has sprung up offering false personal statements for a fee. UCAS uses “similarity detection” software to detect personal statements that have been written by third parties or and universities can reject applications for this reason.

The personal statements generally describe why the applicant wants to study the subject they have applied for, what makes them suitable to study that subject, what makes them suitable to study at degree level generally, any relevant work experience they have gained, their extracurricular activities and any other relevant factors. This is the only way admissions tutors can normally get an impression of what a candidate is really like and assess the applicant’s commitment to the subject.

In  addition  to  the  information  provided  on  the  UCAS  form,  some universities ask candidates to attend an interview. Oxford and Cambridge almost always interview applicants, unless, based on the UCAS form and/or admissions tests, they do not believe the applicant has any chance of admission. Other universities may choose to interview, though only in some subjects and on a much smaller scale, having already filtered out the majority of candidates. The interview gives the admissions tutors another chance to assess the candidate’s suitability for the course.

Universities   are   increasingly   being   put   under   pressure   from   central Government to admit people from a wider range of social backgrounds. Social background can only be assessed by the type of school attended, as no information about income or background is otherwise required on the UCAS form.

Another important determinant of whether an offer is to be made is the amount of competition for admission to that course. The more competitive the course, the less likely an offer will be made and, therefore, the stronger the application  must  be.  Applicants  for  medicine  are  often  expected  to  have undertaken extensive work experience in a relevant field in order to show their commitment to the course. For the most competitive courses, less than 10% of applications may result in admission, whereas at the less competitive universities, practically all applicants may receive an offer of admission.

Ultimately, however, no matter how many extra-curricular activities and work experience have been undertaken, if the admissions tutor does not believe, based on the submitted exam results, the candidate is academically capable of

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2.6     Data and Information System

The concepts of data and information are very important in understanding issues that go with development and implementation of a computer-based information system. The term „data‟ and „information‟ are used interchangeably in everyday conversation as meaning the same thing. To many managers and information specialists, however, these terms have distinct meanings. According to O‟Leary   (1996:22),  data  simply  consists  of  raw,  unprocessed  facts  while information is data that have been processed by the computer to be useful to the recipient.

Data are facts obtained by observation, counting, measuring, weighing, etc., which are then recorded. Frequently, they are called raw or basic data and are often records of day-to-day transactions of the organisation.

The concept of information in an organisation sense is more complex and difficult than the frequent use of this common word would suggest. The literature emphasised that information is data that have been processed, transmitted to the recipient, interpreted and understood by the recipient. Here it should be noted that the user, not just the sender is involved in the transformation of data into information.   There is a process of thought and understanding involved and it follows that a given message can have different meanings to different people. summarised, or processed in some other fashion to produce a message or report which is conveniently deemed „management information‟ only becomes information if it  is understood  by the recipient. Therefore, it is  the user who determines whether a report contains information or just processed data.

Information Technology has been an integral part of academic system since almost four decades. Since the arrival of Internet technology, school system has taken a new shape and style with a blend of convenience and satisfaction. Learning from a student‟s bedroom, office or anywhere in the World has made its way into university system with the advent of Internet technology. Information technology has always helped the university system to educate students in better way. To explain few examples, student online clearance is a method where the student obtains his/her clearance letter without carrying files around. This is only possible with the help of information technology. This feature is safe, fast and has no hazels. Filling out the documents and comparing options and waiting for approval is a time consuming process. Through the Internet, this process is made much easier and sometimes the approval is made within minutes. This explains an efficient way of obtaining clearance and saves time and money for students.




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